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Sura Eau. us 1 

Fran > tanjWdeUid 









By HBNEY DIBCKS, 0.B, LL.D., lie. 


2/, LONDON: 
[TJie Aulltor reienet the right of Traiwtaiim\ 

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ixnrooM : nuxTSD bt w. ci:x)wk8 & sons, stamfobd strut avd charixo ceoss. 



Of what use can our labour be, when the labours we record 
are in themselves entirely useless? Well might we join 
with Yerstegan, and address ourselves to our readers as he 
did to those who should peruse his ' Eestitution of Decayed 
Intelligence,' published in 1634, a work expressly composed, 
like the present, for the reader's pleasure, contentment, and 
profit ; albeit, not even courteous readers are all reasonable 
enough to take an author's assurances as bearing but one 
interpretation. "I know," saith our antiquarian, "I have 
herein made myself subject xrnto a world of judges, and am 
likest to receive most controlement of such as are least able 
to sentence me. Well I wote that the works of no writers 
have appeared to the world in a more curious age than this 
(1634!), and that, therefore, the more circumspection and 
wariness are required in the publishing of anything that 
must endure so many sharp fights and censures." 

Doubtless, two and a half centuries have not brought us to 
a less "curious age," and certainly not to one less critical. 
When, in 1861, the First Series of * Perpetuum Mobile ' was 
published, we entertained no doubt that the subject was tho- 
roughly exhausted by us, particularly so far as any earlier 
history was concerned; but now, nine years later, we are 
enabled to give a Second Series of much antiquarian matter, 
together with above eighty patents, secured since that date by 


an expectant class of inventors, for their perversely wliimsical 
mechanical contrivances, executed in contravention of sense 
and science. 

The archsBology of engineering has no similar phase of 
enduring and pertinacious pursuit, despite conflicting evi- 
dence and multitudinous instances of degrading fedlure. 
Why continue a race the goal of which has ever proved a 
delusion and a pitfall? Let metaphysicians answer if they 
can ; but to a certainty the present and the first series of this 
book prove to a demonstration that, no amount of disappoint- 
ment is suf&cient to weaken or entirely destroy the indomit- 
able desire to rediscover an alleged lost discovery. 

The historian who faithfally lays bare to view both sides 
of the question is not necessarily obliged to add his own 
voice either in favour of or against the authorities thus pro- 
duced, unless, indeed, it were his principal object to show that 
his whole history was coloured by his personal opinions ; or 
his desire to treat all his readers as incompetent judges. If, 
on reading the evidence of incessant failu resJa^petp. recorded, 
men will still pursue the construction of pretended self-motive 
mills, pumps, and similar schemes, it is very evident that 
advice might give them a distaste to peruse a narrative of 
facts, which of themselves afford striking proofs that the best 
course for the reader to adopt in his future practical proceed- 
ings is entirely to abandon such shadowy pursuits. 

The tyro in mechanical invention has only to study the 
elementary mathematical and mechanical sciences, together 
with the present history of seven centuries occupied in 
efforts to realize a veritable mechanical perpetual motion, 
to satisfy himself by conclusive evidence that the pursuit is 
no other than a most tantalizing delusion and an infallible 
snare; in reference to which the following lines may be 
offered as more truthful, perhaps, than melodious : — 


Two thousand years or more ago, 

Philosophers their skill to show, 

The problem sent both far and wide, 

To make machines vie with the tide ; 

Their centre lasting as the Sun, 

With weights, like stars, their course to run. 

This sublime problem with delight. 
Has students pos'd to prove it right. 
And equally to prove it wrong ; 
In argument each side 's so strong. 
Tet centuries cannot suffice 
Perpetual Motion to surprise. 

Still, restless minds are much disturb'd 
That Nature's laws will not be curVd 
By tricks of Art exceeding rare. 
While Nature finds mere tricks they are ; 
Whose massy worlds with even poise. 
In endless motion mock man's toys ! 

The present issue of a Second Series of ' Perpetumn Mo- 
bile' is in a great measure dne to the recommendation of 
Professor Woodcroffc, of the Patent Office, who nrged the 
importance of exhausting not only this subject, but all others 
relating to mechanical inyentions; and he expressed his 
belief that it was of the utmost importance to restrict the 
coarse taken by deluded inyentors, by laying before them 
the fullest possible history of what their predecessors had 
attempted in a similar line of investigation. 

The author has, in conclusion, to acknowledge his great 
obligations to several of his acquaintance, and particularly to 
Dr. E. Henderson, of Muchart, for the interest he has taken 
throughout in the progress of this work, and his desire 
to have famished farther particulars than those already 
noticed ; to Mr. W. G. Atkinson, of the Patent Office Library, 
whose acquaintance with ancient scientific literary lore, to- 
gether with his liberality in communicating information, have 


frequently been of material service. He also acknowledges 
with thanks the valuable assistance he has roceived from 
that gentleman in translations, and also from Mr. William 
Hogg, Professor of Mathematics, Eoyal Naval School, Dept- 
ford (who supplied the entire memoir from the French of 
M. Camus); Mr. H. J. A. Goez for translations from the 
German ; and Mr. George Beauchamp from the French and 

H. D. 

Uppeb Nobwood, Subbet, 
1st Augustt 1870. 




Pbepaob v-viii 

Intboductoby Essay xi-zxxi 

Chapteb I. — ^Early opinions respecting the possibility o^ and 
projects for obtaining, perpetual motion. 

Wilars de Honecort, 13th centnry; J/y^^^^dn da ''g^»«^'j 
15th century; Dr. John Dee, 16th century; V. Zonca, 
1607; C. Drebbel, 1610; T. Tymme, 1612; M. Bettinus, 
1642; V. Stansel, 1658; P. Barcher; A. Iseis; A. Martin.- 
C. Scheiner ; J. Mitz ; W. Schroter ; J. J. Beccheri ; R. P. 
S. SolflM ; Polonlco ; Dr. Jacobus ; A. de Fantis Tarvisini; 
J. Thdsneri ; H. Finugius ; 0. Dymock ; T. Gainahoiosgh ; 
G. A. Boekler; Dr. Stokes; G. Sinclair; 0. Septimus; 
A. Capra; M. de Haute-Feuille ; A. Reuszner; Hart- 
mann; F. T. de Lanis; J. Ambling; M. A. Vincent; 
Grumberger; D. de Stair; J. Carte, 1708; J. Bernoulli; 
R. Stewart ; G. Cunningham ; G. BLrieger ; Duboin ; C. E. 
Neumann ; J. Ferguson ; Barbot du Plessis ; G. Fontana 1-89 

Chapter n. — ^Inyentions of the Marquis of Worcester and Coun- 
cillor OrflEyreus. 

Worcester's wheel ; Orffyreus' wheel ; Dr. Kenrick, his 
" Rotator," and his lectures and pamphlet relating to Orffjr- 
reus* invention 90-116 

Chapteb III. — ^Patents of the 17th and 18th centuries .. 117 

Chapter IV. — ^Early papers from the Philosophical Transactions ; 
also the Paris Academy of Sciences. 

Dr. J. Jurin, 1717; M. R. Camus, 1742 118-139 

Chapteb V. — Remarks on Perpetual Motion, principally derived 
from treatises on Natural Philosophy. 

Rohault, prior to 1675; Morland, 1697; Maupertius, 
1752 ; Camot, 1783 i Bonnycastle, 1803 ; Stuart, 1829 ; 
Dr. Lardner, 1856 ; M. Arago, 1857 ; De Morgan, 1857 ; 
Dr. Whewell, 1858 ; and A. Morin (New York), 1860 140-151 



Ohapteb YI. — Early scientific and other journals .. .. 152,153 

Ghafteb VII. — ^Definitions and descriptions of perpetual motion 
from encyclopsedias and dictionaries. 

Lexicon Technicum, 1710 ; Wolff's Mathematical Lexi- 
con, 1734; Encyclopsedia Britannica, 1854; Knight's 
Cydopsedia, 1860; Nicholas Cyclopsedia, 1860; Gehler*s 
compilation, 1833 ; Chamhers* GyclopsBdia, 1865 .. 154-166 

Ghafteb VIH. — ^Early popular and other journals. 

Gentleman's Magazine, 1785 ; European Magazine, 1796 


Ghafteb IX. — ^Becent scientific and other journals, and separate 

Annales de Ghimie, 1818 ; Drieherg^s new machine, 1823 ; 
Idea of a continual motion, 1833 ; Mechanics' Magazine, 
1845; Vogel's pump, 1847; J. Day (U.S.) on perpetual 
motion, 1850; 0. A. Herrich's treatise, 1850-53; J. C. 
Gkuxlner's p^imphlet and invention 170-192 

Ghafteb X. — Newspapers and miscellaneous sources of informa- 

Plaidallis' imposture, 1772; Gox's clock, 1774; W. Ste- 

Shen, 1799; P. Toth, 1818; W. Martin's treatise, 1821; 
I. Moinau's inclined planes ; L. Gaucr^ Bizzo, 1865; 
Krause and Botmann (U.S.), 1859 ; Hart (U.S.), 1862 ; Dr. 
Katterfelto, 1787; new motive power, 1862; American 
perpetual motion, 1864; double pumps; hydro-pueumatio 
wheel ; W. D. Stiles (U.S.) ; a mathematician's remarks 193-207 

Ghafteb XI. — Patents of the 19tii century for improvements in 

obtaining motive power ; English and French .. .. 208-355 



[We shaU here take occasion to add paragraph by paragraph 
to the Essay published in the First Series.^ 

1. Progress in invention can best be obtained by a know- 
ledge of what has preceded in any branch of physics. Simple 
indeed would that man be who imagined that originality was 
dependent on ignorance, either of the laws of nature, or the 
history of the mechanical or other arts in which he might be 
occupied. Until recently it was thought that the history of 
the search for seK-motiye power dated no farther back than 
the sixteenth, but we now trace it to the thirteenth century, 
thus including three centuries when the publication of me- 
chanical invention was almost unknown, except among those 
of the noble and wealthy, to whom the inventor might happen 
to apply for patronage. And it is probably to this very 
want of publicity that we owe the revival of many obsolete 

2. It is an admitted fact that whatever has been may 
again come to pass ; so that even lost discoveries and inven- 
tions may, in the course of time, come to light again; in 
short, that human ingenuity is ever reproducing itself. It 
is evident, therefore, that while lacking information in regard 
to the past, the inventor, by following in the track of his 
predecessors, does little more than take up a circuitous route 
ending where it began. It is this very want of progress 



that marks each successive attempt to destroy the inertia of 
matter through the medium of mechanical arrangements put 
together in defiance of the laws of gravitation. 

3. There can be no doubt that the Marquis of Worcester's 
wheel, and the subsequent publication of Orflfyreus' weight- 
raising wheel at Cassel, have gone far to encourage a certain 
class of sanguine but shallow inventors to search for the 
presumed-to-be-lost principle of those alleged weighted and 
moving wheel machines. The fullest accounts of them, how- 
ever, do not afford us a single hint in reference to their in- 
ternal, and most essential mode of construction; while on 
the other hand, every mechanical demonstration yet attempted 
has invariably produced the one ignoble result of palpable 

4. The present century is rife in the reproduction of pa- 
tented blundering, serving only to prove the ignorance, and 
mental imbecility of a certain class of infatuated, would-be 
inventors, whom no history can teach, no instruction reform, 
nor any amount of mechanical mishaps persuade to abandon 
their folly. Anything more pitiable than such patented 
abortions it is almost impossible to conceive; while at the 
same time one would think that the perfect ease with which 
inventors might experimentally prove the fallacies of such 
model monstrosities, would suffice to enlighten them, without 
their incurring patent expenses to secure a right to the pos- 
session of such nothings ! 

5. The principle involved in the attempt to attain mechani- 
cal perpetual motion is of itself almost sufficient to deter any 
sane man from attempting its production. It is required to 
have a preponderating weight on one side of a wheel, always 
falling, but never falling; or, on falling from one height, 
say ten feet, to rise on the opposite side above ten feet ; — in 
other words, it is sought to produce an effect greater than 
the cause, and is, therefore, equal to requiring a one-poun3^ v 
weight in falling, to raise a second one-pound weight above 


the height from which the first had fallen, and so on con- 

"ST The pursuit of perpetual motion appears too pleasing a 
puzzle to some minds for them ever to abandon its tanta- 
lizingly impossible solution. Its seeming simplicity and 
its absolute dif&culty are its two winning charms. If a 
flimple-minded inventiye man is rich enough to trifle with 
this inquiry as his hobby, there is no end to sources of ex- 
penditure in the multiplication of schemes, in the abundance 
and variety of their wheels, springs, weights, &c., in skilled 
workmanship, and varied labour. He may employ numerous 
draughtsmen, carpenters, smiths, turners, braziers, scale- 
beam makers, wireworkers, and almost every other class of 
workmen engaged in mechanical operations. He may erect 
workshops, set up machines, have a museum of his models, 
and a gallery of his designs handsomely drawn, framed, and 
glazed. And having lived to a good old age, bordering on 
one century, he may at last exclaim, as the result of his 
vast labours, expenses, and experience, " I think I now have 
it 1 " This is no exaggerated picture, it is but the sum of the 
present history of what the world learns from the communi- 
cations of men of all ages and climes respecting the possi- 
bility of effecting a mechanical perpetual motion, though their 
labours spread over seven centuries. 

7. Some modem inventors have patented schemes which 
may be termed perpetual motions assisted by steam, gas, 
manual labour, &c. These are mostly classed as being for 
"Obtaining Motive Power." We shall only notice the fol- 
lowing : — 

1838.— EiOHABD Thomas Beck [No. 7670], Little Stone- 
ham, Suffolk, the conmiunication of an invention which is 
denominated " Eotae Vivae," partly using steam. 

I860.— Claude Joseph N. Keboub, [No. 1581], Paris, « A 
new Motive Power," partly man's power. 

xiY nrrsoDuoTOSY essay. 

I860.— Jban Bluzat and others [No. 1938], Marseilles, 
France, " Motive Power," apparently intended for perpetual 
motion, but masked in the description. 

1864. — ^Hbnby Bbnnison [No. 535], Plumstead, Kent, 
" Motive Power by means of Water," which also seems to be 
partially a perpetual motion. 

1865. — ^William Clabe [No. 651], London, communicated 
from Pans, " Motive-Power Engines," partly gas, &c. 

1866.— Hugh Forbes [No. 2598], St. Pancras, London, 
*' Apparatus for raising Wajber, &c.," partly seK-acting. He 
had also a patent in 1867, No. 1059. 

1868.— EoBEET Side [No. 945], Southwark, Surrey, "A 
compound Lever, introducing Gravitation as a Motive Power, 
to Supersede a considerable amount of Steam Power." Also 

1868.— -By the same Patentee [No. 1310], « A new Machine 
for obtaining Power." 

8. The weight of evidence is decidedly opposed to a belief 
in the possibility of realizing an artificial perpetual motion. 
Machines contrived to rotate under the influence of currents 
of water, air, or electricity, are no proofs of mechanical in- 
genuity in this respect, for the utmost such efforts can prove 
is the perpetuity of the external agents employed, which no 
one has ever attempted to dispute. 

9. The youth of mechanical genius is wont to take delight 
in attempts to solve this ancient problem, and viewed as a 
problem this, like many other paradoxes, may tend to excite 
an early curiosity to arrive at elementary information in 
mathematical and other essential studies. But it is intoler- 
able to find men of mature age, of presumed experience, of 
some education and reading, perplexing themselves and 
society with models and drawings, and calculations of the 
most crude and obviously crippled and clumsy character, 


« reiterating the errors of an antique age, and delighting in 
the inglorious revival of forgotten follies. 

10. Inventive genius claims our utmost respect and ap- 
proval. But a certain degree of the inventive faculty, as of 
our other faculties, may exist without concomitant ability to 
exercise it judiciously ; just as something more is wanted than 
the possession of thews and sinews to make an athlete, or 
than a silver-toned voice to constitute an orator. Without 
the requisite intellect, intelligence, and appropriate education 
the highest talents may be wholly or comparatively useless 
to individuals, and judging a man by his works, the perpetual 
motion seeker intensifies our sense of his defective mentality 
by persisting in the reduction of his chimeras to a tangible 

11. It being certain that no government reward exists to 
tempt the xmwary into this perplexing pursuit, it must be 
presumed that some persons follow it for amusement, others 
for renown, and all from sheer simplicity and ignorance. 

12. A very slight acquaintance with the immoveable me- 
chanism which skilless mechanics have produced for cen- 
turies, down to the present time, might serve to satisfy any 
but the most stupid and impenetrable intellects that, imless 
some xmdiscovered law of Nature can be developed, perpetual 
motion must be doomed to remain an impossibility. Not 
only, however, is its production valueless in mechanics, but it 
is also hopeless to expect any results of practical value to 
arise from its being realized. The only value that we can 
see in its solution, would be to .explain that obscure passage 
named in the 56th Article of the Marquis of Worcester's 
' Century of Inventions.' But then we ask. Why expend a 
lifetime and a fortune in solving such a pitiable problem ? 

13. In a ' Lecture on Chimeras of Science,' * the author 
has folly discussed this subject. The day has gone by for 

♦ 'Scientific Studies. Two Popular Lectures.* By H. Dircks. 
Post 8vo. 1869. 


expecting haphazard disooyeries in matters which can only 
be fathomed by profound learning. There is, however, in all 
societies a class of bigoted, frothy, light-headed, and perverse 
men whom no logic, or evidence, not even individual dis- 
appointments, will convince, if contrary to their own pre- 
conceived and baseless assumptions. 

14. In addition to similar evidence already afforded,* we 
shall proceed to give such personal notices, and also such 
extracts from recent correspondence, as will painfully show 
the deep-rooted ignorance that prevails on a subject which to 
better-informed persons, must appear as being strangely in- 
consistent with either conmion sense, or ordinary rudimentary 
education. First, of personal narratives : — 

I. A certain French gentleman, resident at the West-end of 
London, used every night to place the author's work * Per- 
petuum Mobile ' under his pillow, so as to read and study it 
early in the morning. In 1863, not long before the opening 
of the great International Exhibition, he expressed his in- 
tention to complete a most wonderful machine, to be taken 
there in procession, for exhibition. Slight difficulties, un- 
fortunately, delayed the consummation of his bright hopes, 
and procrastinated indefinitely his brilliant design of a per- 
petual motion. 

n. Another gentleman, an engineer, also professes to have 
made the same work his text-book and pillow companion. 
He had employed himself on several models, engaging the 
most skiKul workmen ; and at last had so far satisfied himself, 
after spending 300Z. in experiments, that he commenced 
taking out a patent for his presumed perpetual motion. 
But at every step of his progress new and unexpected vistas 
of promising plans opened to his view, and perplexed and 
retarded his progress. He considered, however, that two of 
the schemes described in the history of 'Per. Mob.' were very 
near approaches to the desired end, the projectors of them 

♦ * Per. Mob.,' First Series, pages xv.-xxix. 


haying only missed the one thing needful to give continuity 
of motion. 

m. Mr. after carefully perusing the history in ques- 
tion, assured a friend that there was no plan described in it 
at all approaching his invention ; hence he concluded that his 
own scheme was new, patentable, and perpetual. 

IV. Mr. , an experienced professor of mechanical 

philosophy, waited on a gentleman at his particular request, 
who had an important invention to show him ; this turned out 
to be no other than a herculean perpetual motion machine, of 
power and dimensions like a steam-engine, but of which he 
only possessed the drawings and a few large cast-iron wheels. 
The old gentleman was described as affording a good subject 
for any artist to transfer to his canvas in illustration of an 
adept in his study, surrounded with his papers, books, models, 
and portions of cumbrous machinery. He imagined himself 
thoroughly versed in hydraulic and pneumatic science, both 
of which he pertinaciously overturned in his attempts at 
practical demonstrations. As he Hved, so he died, a melan- 
choly instance of perverted knowledge, knowing much super- 
ficially and theoretically, but nothing soxmdly. 

V. Captain , a retired military ofi&cer, who had served 

much abroad, and was of an inventive and ingenious turn of 
mind, conceived the idea of placing tanks of water one above 
the other, the raised ones to be supplied from the lower re- 
servoirs by a water wheel of peculiar construction, of which 
he had made several rough drawings, and very rude paste- 
board models. The old captain being bed-ridden, expressed 
himseK most anxious to yield to the desire of his Mends 
by giving up all further pursuit of his present scheme, pro- 
vided some competent person would only convince him of its 
fallacy. Of course any one of the least experience, in afford- 
ing advice, well knows that the "giving up" only means 
changing ground; for never was true inventor yet found 
that would absolutely desert his hobby. In the present in- 


• • • 


stance the complication, and evident impossibility of the 
thing ^proposed, rendered it an endless amusement for an 
invalid's idle hours, and no one could treat harshly such an 
innocent pastime, lightening, as it no doubt did, the tediimi 
of many dull hours. 

VI. Mr. , a gentleman who was reports to be an ex- 
cellent mathematician who had travelled a good deal, and on 
his return home had devoted much of his leisure to mecha- 
nical pursuits, was requested to read 'Perpetuum Mobile,' 
1861, for the purpose of refuting the assumed possibility of 
producing any machine for the desired purpose. Instead of 
so doing, however, h^ showed his friend, who had made the 
suggestion, the drawing of a scheme he had designed for a 
wheel with an unequal number of spokes, the upper end of 
each having an eccentric chamber, in which a ball was to roll, 
and being always farther from the centre on the one side 
than on the other, as well as having such weights in greater 
number on the descending side, the wheel would rotate con- 
tinually. It was not difficult to convince him. that four 
spokes were as good as five, and that the weights were never 
in positions at every point to obtain the hoped-for result. 
But he still thought he saw the attainableness of the solu- 
tion of the problem, provided only that the proper eccentric 
could be devised, for " whatever it is " (he would say) " that 
produces the effect, it must be by means of an eccentric." 
He shortly afterwards abandoned any further inquiry, finding 
that it proved too exciting for his brain, causing him to talk 
on the subject in his sleep. 

VII. A thoroughly practical engineer, a gentleman hold- 
ing a highly responsible situation, seeing the experimental 
trial of a wheel intended to illustrate continuous motion, 
rather than absolute inertia, perceiving that every forced 
revolution soon became oscillatory and then fixed, made the 
remark : — " I often tried these sdiemes in my early days, but 
invariably found that the difficulty was always the same. I 


could never get the weights to pass the one o'clock and seven 
o'clock, comparing the fiEtce of the wheel to the dial of a 

VULl. Mr. P , a retired government officer, at the age of 

ninety, advanced no less than lOOOZ. to carry out schemes for 
perpetual motion pumps, one of which, his son declares, he 
«' saw at work for one day." 

IX. The foreman carpenter of a distinguished public 
establishment was confidently imbued with the idea that he 
could construct a seK-acting locomotive engine for common 
roads. Being in conversation with an intelligent draughts- 
man in the same employ, he was highly indignant with him 
(as being a younger person and less experienced than himself) 
when he ventured the suggestion that the scheme might 
prove, like many others, a fallacious attempt. ^' What I " he 
exclaimed, '' do you think I should waste my time on anything 
that was impracticable ? " However, as discretion is the better 
part of valour, he has wisely satisfied himseK with a first 

X. Mr. G , C.E., states that in his youth he was de- 
lighted with the pursuit of perpetual motion, but he was 
always baffied with the recurring difficulty of raising a weight 
that had once fallen. He says he is often consulted on the 
subject, and has been recently in the case of a nobleman who 
devotes all his time and energies so entirely to this pursuit, 
that his relations begin to fear his mind will give way under 
the mortification of repeated disappointments, followed by 
renewed close application. 

XL Mr. E , an eminent practical engineer, declares 

that from twenty to twenty-five years of age he applied him- 
self most assiduously to the invention of a perpetual motion 
machine. Living on the premises of a large engineering 
establishment in the North of England, he had always at 
hand the best possible means for trying his mechanical ex- 
periments. For a long time he contented himself with. 


makiiig drawings and calculations, but growing weary of 
that tedions but most judicious course of proceeding, lie 
determined in an evil hour to have recourse only to actual 
models. At the end of five years of improductive search, he 
came to the conclusion that it would be fruitless to proceed 
any further, especially with his limited means and leisure for 
such an expensive and absorbing pursuit. He, therefore, at 
once abandoned it, and during a long life of active service 
has never had reason to regret his early resolve in this 

Xn. Mr. , a patent agent, relates that a mechanic, 

out of his hard earnings, had spent above 200Z. on a model 
horizontal wheel, by means of which he expected to realize a 
self-motive power. The spokes were tubular, or channelled, 
and as one weight rolled from the centre to the periphery, 
another receded from the periphery to the centre. It oscil- 
lated in some way or other, so as to incline each spoke, or 
series of spokes, successively. As the agent had advised a 
consultation with some reputable professional gentleman, one 
of eminence was selected, who at once pointed out to the de- 
luded mechanic the flagrant fallacy of th^ whole structure 
of his model ; upon which decision he at once broke it up, 
declaring — " I can now go to my daily work contentedly." 

XIII. Mr. A , a young man engaged in some depart- 
ment of the cotton trade, and who maintains his mother and 
sister, states that having his lathe and working tools, he 
constructed small model engines, &c., for amusement. He 
possessed several scientific works and periodicals, and was 
especially delighted on procuring a copy of ' Per. Mobile.' 
He relates that his father was much given to the study 
of perpetual motion, principally to work by means of water ; 
he died, however, without accomplishing anything. Mr. A. 
has at last contrived, as he believes, a wheel that must 
prove seK-motive. At the vertical spoke two 10-lb. weights 
are to hang at different points at each end; and towards 



the centre two other weights of 11 lbs. each are to hang. 
Now the pecnliarity he expects is, that the upper 11 lbs. 
will by its descent raise the 10 lbs. above it, while the 
11 lbs. and 10 lbs. below the centre will remain unmoved. 
Having determined to carry out this xmtenable scheme prac- 
tically, he must of course pay the usual penalty of discomfiture, 
and endeavour to vary his tactics for outwitting those laws of 
Nature to which all novices and amateur mechanics are blindly 
opposed. ' 

XIV. Mr, B— attributes his early predilection for in- 
vention to youthful attempts to obtain perpetual motion. His 
&ther not only made no objection to his experimental trials, 
but always satisfied him as to the true cause of their failure. 
In speaking on this subject later in life, he readily called to 
mind six or seven of his early schemes. One was by means 
of two glass discs, very slightly dished, and very carefully 
and smoothly bored at their centres. They were intended 
to revolve on a pin, and to dip vertically in water, being so 
placed that at one side they nearly touched, while at the 
other (owing to their form) they stood apart, being kept in 
position by friction rollers. By this means he expected that 
the water, rising by capillary attraction on one side, would 
cause the discs to overbalance continually ; but the column 
that rose highest was counterbalanced by the volume of the 
two lesser columns of the displaced sides. A second plan 
w^ by six cylinders half filled with shot, placed equidistant 
round a wheel, and swinging on their centres ; at the top tHey 
were either to be inverted by passing over a lesser wheel, or 
to be overturned by a weighted arm set at right angles to each 
cylinder. Other plans were magnetical, or barometrical ex- 
periments; but all alike were erroneous. The result, however, 
was to satisfy him of the necessity of studying the elementary 
principles of mechanics, to which he assiduously applied 
himself accordingly; and in consequence he rose to be a 
distinguished engineer. 


XV. Mr. F recollects that abont fifty years ago, a car- 
penter at Nether Stowey, Somersetshire, of about seventy years 
of age, had i^nt much time and the hard earnings of his life, 
on a wheel machine, 20 feet in diameter, the result of a 
dream, to be operated by counterweights, and which, along 
with mills for grinding com, &c., he set up in a bam. Observ- 
ing one day that a neighbour was about erecting a building 
in an adjoining field, he tendered his advice to him to go to 
work with some caution, at the same time apprising him of 
the wonderful perpetual motion he was about starting to work 
in the bam, but which he had taken the precaution so to 
secure by means of a strong prop, which was to be struck 
away when all was ready, as well as brakes, that he trusted 
no serious accident would happen, which must ensue if it 
broke loose from its moorings. His neighbour being thus 
interested, was in attendance to see its operations, xmdertaking 
at the same time to put on one of the brakes placed in his 
charge, so as to prevent, as fSaj* as possible, the disasters that 
a heavy-weighted runaway engine might too probably inflict. 
But props, ropes, and brakes were all rendered superfluous on 
the grand day of exhibition, for not a sound was heard, nor 
was the slightest motion visible! And no one except the 
inventor himself suffered any surprise or disappointment. 

We proceed next to the following extracts from correspond- 
ence as further evidence of the continued infatuation in this 
profitless pursuit : — 

XVI. Mr. J. Y , in a letter dated from Pall Mall, 

25th June, 1856, observes : — " I have a design for perpetual 
motion, which I feel confident will answer. I am not a good 
hand at drawing, but I have drawn a plan of it to the best of 
my ability. If success should crown my efforts I shall require 
the money requisite to patent it in all countries. It is a 
very simple plan, and you will be able to tell at a glance if 
it will succeed, of which I do not feel the slightest doubt. 
If my rough calculation is right, a machine on this principle. 


86 feet long, 9 feet broad, and 20 feet higli, will raise 3000 
tons ; the weight of the machine being about 74 tons. 

XVJLL Mr. J. T , of derkenwell, writes on the 5th 

September, 1856, that he is the inventor of a ^* Pendnlnm 
Supplementary Motive Power ; " and adds that '^ The engine 
is semi-seK-acting, embodying an alternating independent 

XVm. Mr. P. S. C writes from St. Malo, France, 

two letters of the 26th September, 1862, and 25th July, 
1868. He states that he is the author of the article (page 
809) quoted in 'Per. Mob.' from an "Amateur." His object 
appears to be to employ an arrangement based on the prin- 
ciple of the hour-glass, for raising water continuously. 

XIX. Mr. J. C. G , writing from Leytonstone, 1st and 

3rd October, 1863, says : — " About seventeen years ago I dis- 
covered a combination (no new law involved) by which mo- 
tive power could be obtained. And I may add," he says, 
"that I have proved the principle involved." He farther 
states that " the great error has been to look for a machine, 
instead of the principle. Phrenologically, unless a man 
has large reflectives, it is useless for him to look for prin- 
ciples. Practically I should fill a vessel with compressed 
air and water, with pistons, &c. I call this vessel mechani- 
cal capital. Say the power contained in it = 100, then by 
using say 5 parts per second, I get enough power to force 
back the water that has escaped, and have a surplus for use 
as a motor ; that is to say, the power obtained is equal to 
say 15 ; allow for forcing back the water and friction 7^, the 
rest is available for use. I cite authorities for all that I 
show ; if that is well established the principle is correct, 
and the rest follows. If any one says ihai would prove 
nothing, then he has not brain power sufficient to decide 
upon such a matter, and it would be useless to waste any 
one's time upon it [?him]." 

XX. Mr. J. F. W , of Beading, states, 4:th January, 


1864, that having inyented a mechanical perpetual motion, 
he has been advised to write to the author of ' Perpetuum 
Mobile/ He therefore inquires: — "Is it any criterion 
because a thing never has been that it becomes a rule that 
it never can be done?" Alluding to the ill-success of other 
searchers, he says: — "I have been trying for these last 
twelve years, and have succeeded in finding it out ; and it is 
so constructed that it can be applied to any machinery what- 
ever, if stationary; and in the course of a month I shall 
have a second model completed." 

15. We have here but a glimpse at the existing practical 
operations of this seK-motion mania, and it is a melancholy 
reflection in reference to the supposed spread of scientific 
information that the enlightenment of the present century 
has not sufficed to banish for ever from our press and our 
patent ofiace the fabrication of such monster follies. 

16. The pretenders to the discovery of a perpetual motion 
arrangement of mechanical parts, affected only by the law 
of gravitation, may flatteringly shield themselves under the 
difficulty which presents itseK of offering a demonstration 
that shall meet all possible cases ; but there is one point that 
the most enthusiastic and infatuated can never presume to 

=' have attained, and that is, to afford an ocular demonstra- 
. tion of an effect being produced, which is greater than the 
cause or origin of such effect. Whatever tibe altitude may 
be from which a body falls, can it ever rise even to the same 
height, much less one hair's breadth higher? The possibility 
lies in the overcoming of an impossibility, and that attempt 
is often made through the intervention of inclined planes, 
levers, &c., which frequently conceal the difficulty from an 
inexperienced eye, and from persons possessing no accuracy 
of observation or standard of judgment, yet when reduced to 
practice, the models invariably stand stupidly still. 

17. As no general law is wholly without exceptions, there 
are many instances of attempting perpetual motion by capil" 


laiy attraction, but although the infatuated amateur obtains an 
absolute rise, he fedls to cause the column raised to overflow. 
But even admit the probability of contriving a self-motive 
wheel of cobweb lightness, surely it is not for such a result 
that the multitude of perpetual motionists are so madly 
ambitious. It is certain that not a few seek to supersede ) 
steam, conceiving it possible to overcome any amount of i 
Motion, and to add power and speed in realization of theiry 
Utopian mechanism I 

18. The saying that a fool may propound more questions 
than a wise man can answer, applies to the case of these 
schemes and mathematical investigations. We may at once 
see clearly an error which it might take pages to explain, or 
hours to discuss, assuming that the scheme were worth any 
such laborious process. A man presents a ^complicated 
machine, combining various wheels, bands, levers, pipes, cis- 
terns, pumps, and water, demanding that it shall be proved 
to be impossible that such a machine will work of itself. 
A wise man will reply — Try, and it will certainly fail. 
There are points in mechanics, as in all other sciences, which 
it is useless to discuss with persons hopelessly ignorant of 
almost everything beyond the mere manuid labour of construct- 
ing models, and totally unacquainted with the principles 
that govern the several parts in their mechanical operations. 

19. There are, at least, two classes of persons who engage 
in this delusive pursuit. One, through a desire to solve a dif- 

l Acuity, which on a first inspection appears to be remarkably 

simple and easy. This often happens to youthful minds, 

I especially when devoted to scientific pursuits. The other class 

/ consists of persons of general intelligence, who commence 

I without any fixed design, but at last become entangled with the 

I puzzle they have failed to unravel, until at lengtii, as though 

by accident and without any special object, they become 

I — more and more perplexed the farther they proceed. In either 

of these cases or in similar ones, where the individual is, if not 

open to immediate conviction, at least willing to receive ixL- 


stmction, it is acting well and wisely to say to snch an one— 
'* Gome, let ns reason together." But the hard-headed, stub- 
bom, seK-satisfied, and determined seeker for self-motive 
power is scarcely deserving of much leniency. He browbeats 
all opponents, he sees nothing but ignorance and intolerance 
in the world, and he has determined on a course of hia own 
to prove the magnitude and magnificence of his talents. Such 
dogmatical men are beyond the pale of redemption, and their 
folly must die with them. 

20. When seven centuries have failed to t)ring any good 
thing out of this chimerical pursuit it is high time that pru- 
dent men should consider whether they gain or lose most 
in pnbUc estimation by adding their own experience in some 
tangible form in proof of the continued existence of human 
weakness and fallibility, in a matter regarding which such 
evidence is merely an oppressive superfluity. 

21. The views of an inveterate perpetual motion seeker 
are best disproved by proving the antiquity of his presumed 
novel scheme ; or, if that is masked by complication, then 
by pointing out to him where the principal difficulty presents 
itself ; or, generally the most prudent course is to introduce 
him to some competent judge for his professional advice. 
The press, or the public, prefer to adopt ridicule, although 
neither may see its force or true bearing on the matter ; but 
in such discussions as these sarcasm has little or no avail ; 
it may damp ardour, but oftener engenders secrecy, and in- 
creases the determination to work in secret. 

22. If the idea of matter moving itself were tenable, its 
utility might remain to be hereafter dificussed ; but it is 
beyond man's ingenuity to place equal weights in any con- 
ceivable position so as to fall and rise of themselves. The 
course of descent will gradually diminish as compared to the 
ascent, and hence oscillation and rest must be the inevitable 
result of any arrangement that mechanicians can devise. 
[See 6.] 


23. The man who spends a fortnne in endeayonring to in^ 
vent, or to improve any kind of mannfactnre, even though nn- 
snccessfol, benefits society ; and, therefore, the want of success 
in a sensible enterprise offers a noble example of self-sacrifice 
in a right direction. Bat to spend a lifetime and a fortune in 
honeycombing a sandstone rock would be a monstrous piece 
of folly, leading to no useful, result, and be as senseless as 
the constructing of endless wheels, and machines, and engines, 
for the mere satisfaction of piling them together like so much 
curious lumber. A man mny miss his way although he started 
in a right direction ; but he who starts wrong is hopelessly 
lost, like the seeker of self-motive power machinery. 
/^4. While the pursuit of Perpetual Motion is not of itself 
levidence of insanity,* it is unquestionably a proof of igno- 
jrance, or of mental inability to master elementary knowledge. 
There is no more reason for a man's enthusiastically manu- 
facturing wheels and mills to move of themselves, without a 
sufficient acquaintance with mathematics, dynamics, pneu- 
matics, hydrostatics, mechanics, and like branches of science, 
than that he should attempt Greek or Latin poetry with only 
a dictionary for his guide. The shame is less in the attempt 

* '* Lunacy, as might be expected, often takes the turn of imaginary 
discoveries, and half-knowledge leads to ludicrous blunders. M. Arago 
states that in France the spring is the usual time for the development 
of the fancies of madmen. A number of persons at that season are 
seized with such delusions as that they nave discovered perpetual 
motion and the mode of squaring the circle, and sell everything they 
possess to take out a patent for doing that which in the nature of 
things cannot be done. The study of the annals of past discoveries 
will assist in checking wild or barren schemes.*' — Quarterly Heview, 
1859, p. 150. 

•* The celebrated French physician, Pinel, relates the case of one of 
the most eminent watchmakers in Paris at the end of the last century, 
who was infatuated with the chimera of perpetual motion, and to 
effect this discovery he set to work with indefatigable ardour. Through 
unremitting attention to the object of his enthusiasm, his mind became 
completely deranged. He imagined that he had been guillotined, that 
his head had been ordered to be replaced, and that in mistake his own 
had been replaced by the head of some other victim.** — Curiosities of 
Clocks and Watches, By Edward J. Wood. 8vo, 1866. 


than in the persistence in attempting performances without 
snificient rules, against scientific reasoning, and in defiance 
of laws of which he either has never heard, or which he has 
never sufficiently studied. 

25. The modem advocate of the possibility of producing a 
mechanical Perpetual Motion, actuated by gravity alone, will 
do well to consider the history of past and present schemes, 

^/ all, without exception, tending to prove the fallacy of such 
attempts. Every science has been more or less beset with 
crude theories which are best left to themselves to die out, 
and perpetual motion is now at its last gasp, and will 
shortly be a thing of the past, to be remembered only as an 
"amazing piece of folly." The few advocates it finds are 
driven to the necessity of patenting their blunders, and making 
public property of their schemes, mostly at their own expense, 
and but rarely indeed to much pecuniary loss on the part of 
patrons of such mechanical phantasies. It is true that during 
le three-quarters of the present century above 160 patents 
ive been taken out for motionless promised motions, offering 
sorry examples of infatuation and ignorance. But if the un- 
learned find pleasure in thus unwittingly throwing away a 
portion of their property, and making themselves voluntary 
victims to the derision of those who are better informed, let 
us rather pity them, and hope that the time is not fiEir distant 
when men will no longer thus put to sea without chart or 
compass to guide them in the difficult navigation they so reck- 
lessly and confidently undertake. 

26. In reviewing the patented as the most modem schemes 
we find that they all come to this, — a something wanting. 
The credulous and wrong-headed mechanic is always sure 
that his first, second, third, or other failure has at length 
opened his eyes, until bewildered by the ignis fatum his funds 
are exhausted, or the thread of his earthly career is too sud- 
denly cut short I A Methuselah and a Msecenas combined, 
could not change this career. 



27. There is no absolutely reliable description of any 
alleged Perpetiial Motion which warrants the assumption tbat 
sach an antomaton was ever actually in existence, and that 
it is merely a lost invention, capable of possible re-discovery ; 
on the contrary, the light of modem science clearly shows 
its ntter absurdity, and that to expect it from man's inventiveS 
sources is a positive violation of our enlarged common sense, / 
and every known law of Nature. [See 8.] 

28. MajOiS credulity in errors only breaks down with time, 
personal experience, and accumulated &cts. And such is the 
history of Perpetual Motion, it relates to a great practical 
folly in its decadence. 

29. The seekArs after an artificial seK-motive power gene- 
rally describe their schemes as possessing some overlooked 
properties in mechanics. If it is a wheel with levers and 
weights, the leverage is to be increased on one side, and 
lessened on the other. Surely nothing can be more childish; 
it simply shows the schemer s ignorance of an ancient and 
oft-repeated fallacy. In the same way pumps are to raise 
more water than the water required to work them ; which is 
tantamount to requiring one pound to raise seventeen ounces, 
or some weight greater than itself; or the same weight to a 
greater elevation; and is another antiquated blunder. Lever- 
age is of no avail in these and similar instances ; it is all a 
question of vertical measurement in ascent and descent ; and 
the result of every efiEbrt to counteract the law affecting this 
affords the fallest evidence that the effect can never be greater 
in height or weight than the means employed to produce the 
one or the other. [See 5, 22.] 

30. Against the construction of such a wheel as that . 
noticed by the Marquis of Worcester in the 56th Article of | 
his ' Century of Inventions,' it may reasonably be urged that ' 
it is not very certain that it was proposed for the purpose of 
seK^motion, and it is not even impossible that the weights 
were raised in the hollow arms of a wheel by the alternate 


action of steam, to force the weights ont on one side and 
by^its condensation to raise and to withdraw the weights 
on the opposite or ascending side.* 

31. Orffjrreus' invention of a wheel, moving either way, and 
raising as mnch as 70 lbs. weight, would have gained more 
respect had he not abandoned his scheme, and never reverted 
to it during the remaining years of his life. As he was versed 
in clockwork, he may have employed, in some ingenious way 
or other, a powerful spring, capable of being reversed ; adding 
small balls to make a tapping noise as the wheel revolved, 
merely to act as a blind, to conceal the real source of motive 

In 1860, Dr. E. Bempebson proposed tie following feat 

to perpetual motion 
seekers, in preference 
to more complex theo- 
ries: — A, a, a board 
having a semicircular 
path B, h, cut out of it ; 
0, a horizontal or level 
line from the centre of 
the baU D, to E. The 
ball D, on rolling down 

* Although this is a novel view of the case in relation to this parti- 
cular invention, it receives some confirmation from the fact that the 
Marquis's * Fire Engine,' or * Water-commandiDg Engine/ had been 
designated as a 'Perpetual Motion' early in the following century, 
when a small quarto was published, with the title: — **A new and rare 
invention of Water-Works, teaching to ndse water higher than the 
spring, by which invention the Perpetual Motion is proposed, and many 
luird labours performed. By Isaac de Oaus, Engineer. As also a 
Description of Captain Savory's En^ne for laising (? vast quantities of 
water by Fire. London : printed for G. Moxon, at the Atlas, in 
Warwick Lane. 4to. 1704." Pp. 47. And the engine as exhibited 
at Yanxhall in 1663, was also referred to by Dr. Hook as a ^* Peipetual 
Motion." But while those engines were for raising water, the weighted 
wheel might be intended for moving machinery, and thus be the first 
application of steam for that special purpose. See * Life of the Marquis 
of Worcester.' 1865. 


the cnrve B, b, its impetus will cause it to rise below E ; if, 
however, it could be made to rise to d, the object sought would 
be attained, as the ball might then return to D, down the 
incline dy D, and so on continually, until the materials were 
worn out. 

82. But perpetual motion seekers usually demand some 
more abstruse mathematical or mechanical demonstration, 
Now to the learned in any matter whatever, be it in literature,^ 
art, or science, there are certain established facts which itJ 
would be a sign of absolute impotence to attempt to overturn ; 
and which no professor would seriously, or at any length 
attempt to argue upon, against the opinions of weak-minded 
enthusiasts. It is much the same in mathematics and in me- 
chanical philosophy. Who cares to enter into interminable 
arguments with the squarers of the circle, or with the con- 
trivers of mills to work themselves and pump their own water- 
power ? If it is a folly to propose such impotent labours, it 
is equally a folly to discuss them with men who congratulate 
themselves on their own superior mental qualifications. It 
is a very natural course on the part of their opponents, to 
require the production of the lifelike machine, instead of 
merely talking about it. Surely in seven centuries something 
should have been done to put a spoke in this ever-talked-of 
wheel, to keep it turning, instead of always having recourse 
to the stale subterfuge, that only this, that, or something else 
is all that is wanting. If this seemingly easy project is still 
so difficult, we may fairly infer, when supported by the highest 
scientific authorities against it, that it is really a fallacy ; and 
that its followers are irretrievably in the wrong, working in 
the dark, bungling at every step, beset with mortifying and 
humiliating failures ; and instead of showing the least pro- 
gress, never effecting more than a mere resurrection of bygone 
mechanical vagaries. 






The most ancient recorded scheme for effecting a mechanical 
perpetual motion that we have been able to trace, belongs to 
the thirteenth century. Its inventor was Wilaes de Hone- 
COBT, an architect, whose original Sketch Book, in which his 
design appears, as reproduced in the annexed engraving, is 
deposited in the ficole des Chartes at Paris. In 1849 M. 
Quicherat published a commentary, as did also M. Lassus in 
1858, on that remarkably interesting art relic. Translations 
of these, with additions of his own, appeared in 1859, by Pro- 
fessor Willis, of Cambridge,* to whose valuable work we are 
indebted for the following particulars on the subject under 

At page 35, appears Plate VIII., Eectof of the Fifth Leaf, 
marked in the thirteenth century with the letter 1, and in the 
fifteenth with the letter e. 

" ' Maint ior se sunt maistre dispute de faire tomer une ruee 

* Facsimile of the Sketch-Book of Wilars de Honecort, an archi- 
tect of the thirteenth century; with Commentaries and Descriptions by 
M. J. B. A. Lassus, late architect of Notre-Dame, and of the Sainte Gha- 
pelle at Paris, &c. ; and by M. J. Quicherat, Professor of Archseology at 
the ^le des Chartes at Paris. Translated and edited by the Bev. Bobert 
Willis, MA., F.B.S., &c. 4to. 1859. 

t Eecto and verso are terms employed to distinguish the drawings in 
the Sketch-Book, from their being made on both sides of the leaf. 


par li seule. Yes ent ci con en puet faire par mailles non 
pers on par vif argent.' " 

" Maint jour, se sont maitres disputes pour faire toumer 
une roue par elle seule. Voici comment on pent le faire par 
maillet non pairs ou par vif-argent." 

" Many a time have skilful workmen tried to contrive a wheel 
that shall turn of itself : here is a way to, make such a one, hy 
means of an uneven number of mallets, or hy quicksilver" 

Wilars de Honecort presents to us a device for a perpetual 
motion ; it is not clear whether he intends to claim the con- 
trivance of it, or whether he had met with it in the course of 
his travels. It differs very little from a well-known contri- 
vance for this purpose which has been so often published, and 
its fallacy so fuUy explained in popular books,* that it is un- 
necessary to dwell at length upon the mechanical principles 
which it involves. It is extremely curious in this place, be- 
cause it shows the great antiquity of the problem, the solution 
of which has wasted the time, the brains, and tiie means of 
many an unhappy artisan or philosopher. 
/^Th the drawing we have now before us, the two upright 
/ posts, which are framed together and skilfully braced so as to 
/ ensure their steadiness, support between them a long hori- 
/ zontal axle, to the centre of which is fixed a wheel with four 
L^^okes. The absence of perspective in this drawing makes 
the wheel appear as if it were parallel to the frame, instead 
of being, as it is, at right angles to it. 

Seven mallets, or arms, each loaded with a heavy weight at 
the end, are jointed at equal distances to the circumference of 
the wheel, so that those which happen to have their joints be- 
low the diameter of the wheel will hang freely down, but if 
the wheel be' turned round by hand or otherwise, the weights 
of those which are on the ascending side will in succession 
rest on its circumference, and will in that position be carried 
over the highest part of the wheel, and downwards on the 
descending side, until the arms that bear them are brought 
.into a vertical position and a little beyond it, and then the 

>vAi^ * For example, in Ozanam's or Button's * Mathematical Recreations.' 
jwM. Lassus has supplied an elaborate description, with demonstrations of 
* ^ the fallacy of this class of oontriyances, which I have ventured to sap- 
press, as it is to be found in books of such easy access as those I have 
referred to, and would scarcely be intelligible to persona unacquainted 
with mathematics. — (W.) 


weight will fall suddenly over and reat on the opposite p(wi- 
tion on the circumference of the wheel, until its fiirther 
deaceni wiables it to dangle freely as before. The effect of 
this mechanism npon the position of the weights is not truly 
represented, for the upper mallet has fallen over too soon. In 
the modem form of this contriTance a pin, or stop, is intro- 
duced, by which the mallet when it falls over is compelled to 
rest, so that its arm shall point to the centre of the wheel. 

and thna the descending weight be held at a greater distance 
irota the centre than when ascending. It is extremely pro- 
bable that this difference is a mere error of the artist, for 
the drawing has the appearance of having been made firom 
a model of the wheel at rest ; a condition in which, of conrse, 
it wonld always be found, unless moved by some external 
force. The inventor seems to have thought that the action 
above desoribed would always place four weights on the 


descending side, and leave but three on the ascending side, 
each weight as it rises to the top being intended to leap 
suddenly over to the descending side, in the manner just 
explained ; or perhaps, as M. Lassus suggests, the contriver 
imagined that the blows given to the wheel in succession 
by the falling mallets would help it forward. It is sur- 
prising, that although the slightest model would show the 
failure of devices of this class to persons incapable of mathe- 
matical reasoning, yet such machines have been seriously 
proposed in books, and are continually re-contrived by in- 
genious workmen. The allusion to quicksilver in the manu- 
script shows that Wilars was acquainted with the well-known 
contrivance described in the books already referred to, in 
which portions of that metal inclosed in channels are used 
instead of the falling weights. 

M. Lassus ingeniously supposes that the first idea of this 

quichine may have been suggested by the sight of wheels like 

this, with swinging hammers, which in certain churches were 

used instead of the bells on Good Friday,* and which keep 

up their motion, according to the velocity acquired, some time 

after the moving power has ceased its action.! 

Leonardo da Vinci projected schemes for perpetual motion. 
There is in the British Museum, among the Arundel manu- 
scripts. No. 263, the autograph memorandum book of that 
great painter, who was born 1452, and died in 1519. The 
book is a mere miscellany of observations and demonstrations 
on subjects chiefly of mixed mathematics, with several private 
memoranda, written in Italian, commencing at the end of the 
book, and so proceeding backwards, as customary in writing 

* A. Lenoir, * Architecture Monastique,' 1. 1., p. 157. 

t The suppressed remarks on this early scheme for effecting a per- 
petual motion occur in ' Albuih de Yillard de Honnecourt.' Par J. B. 
A. LasBus. 4to. Paris, 1858. They do not embody any mathematical 
demonstration, but simply notify the imperfect perspective of the draw- 
ing, and the probability of Wilars depending on the emplo^ent of an 
unequal number of mallets or weights, under the impression that while 
there were four descending, only three would be ascending ; although 
such could not continuously happen. He also considers that the idea 
of substituting mercury for solid weights was peculiar to himself, but of 
no greater advantage. He also points out that as machines themselves 
are not producers of power, consequently none of the attempted solutions 
of this impoBable problem have proved satisfactory. — D. 


Hebrew. The writing is very small, and all the pen and 
pencil sketches very minute. Among other matters we find 
a page devoted to sketches of six designs for perpetual motion, 
each shown as being overweighted on the left-hand side, but 
without any reference or remarks. We venture, however, to 
supply the following remarks, as offering the most likely 

Fig. 1 may be taken as a scheme belonging to the fifteenth 
century. It seems to be placed at the head as a simple or 
elementary design for future improvement. It is a cham- 
bered druii whefl, containing balls or weights, which, being 
always feurthest from the centre on one side, as compared to 
the other, are expected to keep the wheel constantly rotating. 

Fig. 2. Failing in this scheme, the inventor next offers one 
with weighted levers, which are to fedl outwards on one side, 
but to fall inwards on the opposite side, the weight at the 
same time sliding up the lever when vertical at the bottom, 
so as to be nearer the centre throughout on the ascending 
side. But how the weight is to be made to ascend at the 
bottom remains to be shown. 

Fig. 3. The difficulty of elevating the weight would appear 
to have suggested its immersion in a trough of water, as here 
shown. The weights seem to be attached to some contrivance 
to float them upwards; but we are perplexed, and so no doubt 
was Da Vinci, how to sink them, or being sunk, how to 
render them again buoyant by any seK-motive process. 

Fig. 4. It would appear as though the difficulties observ- 
able in Fig. 3 were attempted to be met here, in a plan which 
evidently combines several views of the case, yet without 
removing the main difficulty ; for although the weight at the 
end of the long arm may be quite capable of sinking in the 
liquid, we still inquire. How is it ever to be raised again ? 

Fig. 5 seems to be an incomplete sketch, and a mere varia- 
tion on the preceding designs, with the addition either of 
machinery below to be worked by it, or to give it motion. 
Possibly it was proposed to have a magnet at the bottom of 
the vessel. 

Fig. 6 appears to be two designs in one sketch. On one 
side we have long single levers, with a single weight at their 
ends, and a weight between each at the periphery ; on the 
other end, double or forked levers and double weights. Its 

8 PEBPBTUUM mobile; 

mixed character renders it probable that it was merely some 
preliminary sketch. 

The great value of the present exhibition, of these early 
contrivances of misdirected mechanical ingenuity consists in 
the convincing evidence which they afford, that all young in- 
ventors who occupy themselves in the search for seK-motive 
machines, do little more than reproduce the blunders of a 
past age. After a lapse of five centuries modem inventors 
often become patentees of contrivances which are only more 
complicated than the assumed-to-be overweighted wheel of 
Wilars de Honecort, or the six similar ones of Leonardo da 
Vinci. But such has hitherto been the ignorance of mecha- 
nics on this subject, that Fig. 1 of the annexed diagrams has 
frequently been adduced by writers on the subject, as the 
veritable wheel invented by the Marquis of Worcester, in the 
seventeenth century I 

Later, in the sixteenth century, we have the observations of 
Db. John Dee, in his Mathematical Preface* to Sir Henry 
Billingsley's translation of Euclid, published in 1570, which, 
as a first English production, is considered to be a great cu- 
riosity. The Doctor, who was famous in his day, was bom in 
London, 1527, and died in 1608. \ 

Dr. Dee, in discussing the several applications of iiOL^the- 
matics to difierent arts, proceeds, at page 34, to observe : — 

Tbochiliee, is the Art Mathematical!, which demon- 
strateth the properties of all Circular motions. Simple and 
Compounde. And bycause the frute hereof, vulgarly receiued, 
is in Wheeles, it hath the name of Trochilike : as a Man would 
say, WJiele Art By this art, a Whole may be geuen which 
shall moue ones about, in any tyme assigned. Two Wholes 
may be gieuen, whose tumynges about in one and the same 
tyme, (or equall tymes), shall haue, one to the other, any pro- 
portion appointed. By Wholes, may a straight line be de- 
scribed : Likewise, a Spirall line in a plaine, Conicall Section 
lines, and other Irregular lines, at pleasure, may be drawen. 
These, and such like, are principall Conclusions of this Arte : 

* The Elements of Geometrie of the most ancient Philosopher 
Euclide, of Megra. Faithfully (now first) translated into the Englishe 
toung by H. Billingsley, citizen of London. With a very faithfull Pre- 
face made by M. J: Dee. Imprinted at London by John Daye. Folio. 
[A.D. 1570, vide p. 465.] 


and helpe forward many pleasant and profitable Mechanicall 
workes : As Milles, to Saw great and very long Deale bordes, 
no man being by. Such haue I seene in Germany : and in 
the Citie of Prage : in the kingdome of Bohemia : Coyning 
Milles, Hand Milles for Come grinding : And all maneir of 
Milles, and Whole worke : By Winde, Smoke, Water, Waight, 
Spring, Man or Beast, moned. Take in your hand, Agricola, 
Be re Metallica : and then shall you (in all climes) perceaue, 
how great node is, of Whole worke. By Wheles * straunge 
workes and incredible, are done : as will, in other Artes here- 
affcer, appeare. A wonderfall example of farther possibilitie, 
and present commoditie, was sene in my time, in a certaine 
Instrument : which by the Inuenter and Artificer (before) 
was soldo for XX. Tsdents of Golde : and then had (by mis- 
fortune) receaued some iniurie and hurt : And one Jandlus of 
Cremona did mend the same, and present it vnto the Emperour 
Charles the fifth. Hieronymaus Cardanua can be my witnesse, 
that therein, was one Whole, which moued, and that, in such 
rate, that, in 7000 years only, his owne periode should be 
finished. A thing almost incredible : f But how farre, I keepe 
me within my boundes : very many men (yet aliue) can 

ViTTOBio ZoNOA, in his folio work ' Novo Teatro di Machine 
et Edificii,' published at Padua, 1607, gives a large copper- 
plate engraving of a monster syphon, the water in which is 
represented as ascending a comparatively narrow tube, and in 
its descent filling a shorter but considerably enlarged one, 
being apparently equal to four times the capacity of the 
longer leg of the syphon. It is expected by this means to 
obtain a flow of water to act on the floats of a horizontal 
water-wheel, whereby to turn a com mill. An engraving and 
description in German of this misapplication of hydrostatical 
science may be seen in Appendix B, of the First Series of 
' Per. Mob.,' p. 510. 

* This portion, to the end, has already been quoted in the First 
Series of *Per. Mob.,' pp. 177-8. 

t It appears to be more than a merely remarkable coincidence that 
the Marquis of Worcester in the 66th article of his * Century,' when 
alluding to his wheel with forty weights, supposed to be a perpetual 
motion, should use the expression " A most incredible thing if not seen.*' 
Had he caught this expression from an intimate acquaintance with and 
interest in this portion of Dee's Preface ? 

10 PBBPBTtTirM mobile; 

Hans Jaoob Wubmsbeb yon Ybndenhtem,* in his relation 
of his jonmey with Lewis Frederick, Prince of Wirtemberg, 
notes that on — 

"Tuesday, May 1st, 1610. His Excellency went to Eltham 
Park to see the perpetual motion ; the inventor's name was 
Cornelius Trebel [Drebbel], a native of Alkmaar, a very fair 
and handsome man, and of very gentle manners, altogether 
different from such-like characters."! 

In his notes the editor alludes to Cobnblius Dbebbel as 
having had applied to him the epithets of alchemist, empiric, 
magician, and professor of the black art. The motion here 
alluded to is no doubt the same hereafter described by Thomas 
Tymme. It is also quoted and illustrated with an engraving 
in Mr. Eye's work, at page 236. 

In 1612, Thomas Tymmb,J Professor of Divinity, published 
a philosophical Dialogue,§ in which he discourses of the per- 
petual motion invented by Cobnblius van Dbebblb, a Dutch- 
man, who was engineer to King James, in England. || 

Tymme's work is a small quarto. The author's name on 
the title papers occurs in the smallest type. It is repeated 
again in full — " Thomas Tymme," — both to the dedication 

" To the right Honourable, Sir Edward Coke, Lord Chiefe 


* England as seen by Forei^ers m the Days of Elizabeth and 
James I. [1592 and 1610]. By William B. Rye. 4to. 1865. See 
pages 61 and 84, 

t Translated from the French. British Museum. Add. MS. 20,001. 

% A Dialogue Philosophicall, Wherein Nature's secret closet is 
opened, and the cause of all motion in nature shewed, out of matter 
and forme, tending to mount man's mind from nature to supernatural! 
and celestiall promotion : And how all things exist in the number of 
three. Together with the wittie inyention of an artificial! perpetual 
motion, presented to the King's most excellent Majestie. All which 
are discoursed between two speakers, Philadelph and Theophrast, 
brought together by Thomas Tymme, Professour of Divinitie. 

Syrach. 43. 32. 
There are hidden greater things then these be, and we have seen, but a 
fewe of his workes. 

London, Printed by T. S. for Clement Knight, and are to be soldo 
at his Shop in Paules Church-yard ; at the signe of the Holy-Lambe. 
(small 4o.) 1612. 

[Title page, Dedication — and Address 4 leaves : the remainder pp. 1 
to 72.] 

§ See Notice of it in * Per. Mob.,* First Series, p. 501. 
See Notices of Drebble, t&t'cf., pp. 4, and 23, 24. 


Justice, &c., &c.," and also the Address to the Header, which 
latter conclndes : — 

And for that rare things moye mnch, I have thought it 
pertinent to this Treatise, to set before thee a most strange 
and wittie invention of another Archimedes, which concemeth 
Artificial perpetual motion, immitating nature by a lively 
patteme of the Instrument it selfe, as it was presented to the 
King's most royall hands, by Cornelius Drebble, of Alchmar 
in Holland, and entertained according to the worthinesse 
of such, a gift my paines herein bestowed and intended for 
thy profit and pleasure, if it seeme but as iron, yet let it serve 
for the Forge and Anvill of good conceit, if the discourse 
seeme rough, shadow it I pray thee with the curtaine of 
smooth excuse : &c. 

The work is divided into two parts, the First containing six, 
the Second four chapters. 

Chap. 8. Concemeth the nature and qualitie of the earth : 
and the handling of a question whether the Earth hath 
naturall motion or no. 

Also herein is described an Instrument of perpetuall 
Motion, as stated in the list of Contents. 

At page 56 commences Chap. III., from which we extract 
the following : — 

Philabblph. For as much as the Earth and Sea, make but 
one globous body, united and combined together, I pray you 
describe the form thereof to me. 

This is explained by Theophrast — the dialogue occupying 
four pages, — at last he says : — 

. . . And to make plame the demonstration unto you, that 
the Heavens move, and not the earth, I will set before you a 
memorable Modell and Patteme, respecting the motion of the 
Heavens about the fixed earth, made by Art in the immitation 
of Nature by a gentleman of Holland named Cornelius 
Drebble, which instrument is perpetually in motion, without 
the meanes of Steele, Springs, and waights. 

Phil. I much desire to see this strange Invention. There- 
fore I pray thee, good Theophrast, set it here before me, and 
the use thereof. 

Theo. It is not in my hands to show, but in the custody of 
King James, to whom it was presented. But yet behold the 
description thereof here after fixed. 

12 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

Phil. Wliat use liatli the Globe, marked with the letter A? 

Theo. It representeth the Earth : and it contaiiieth in the 
hollow body thereof divers wheels of brasse, carried about 
with moving, two pointers on each side of the Globe doe pro- 
portion and shew forth the times of dayes, moneths, and 
yeeres, like a perpetuall Almanacke. 

Phil. Both dotik it also represent and set forth the motions 
of the Heavens ? 

Theo. It setteth forth these particulars of Oelestiall motion. 
First, the houres of the rising and setting of the Sunne, from 
day to day continually. Secondly, hereby is to be scene, 
what signe the Motion is in every 24 houres. Thirdly, in 
what degree the Sunne is distant from the Moone. Fourthly, 
how many degrees the Sunne and Moone are distant from us 
every houre of the day and night. Fifthly, in what signe of 
the Zodiacke, the Sunne is every moneth. 

Phil. What doth the circumference represent, which com- 
passeth the Globe about, marked with the letter C ? 

Theo. That circumference is a ring of Cristall glass, which 
being hollow, hath in it water, representing the sea, which 
water riseth and falleth, as doth the floud, and ebbe, twice in 
24 houres, according to the course of the tides in those parts, 
where this Instrument shall be placed, whereby is to be scene 
how the Tides keepe their course by day or by night. 

Phil. What meaneth the little Globe about the ring of the 
Glasse, signed with this letter B ? 

Theo. That little Globe, as it carrieth the forme of a Moone 
cressent, so it tumeth about once in a moneth, setting forth 
the encrease and decrease of the Moone's brightnesse, from 
the wane to the full, by turning round every moneth in the 

Phil. Can you yeeld me any reason to perswade me con- 
cerning the possibility of the perpetuity of this motion ? 

Theo. You have heard before that fire is the most active and 
powerfull Element, and the cause of all motion in nature. 
This was well knowne to Cornelius, by his practise in the un- 
twining of the elements, and therefore to the effecting of this 
great worke, he extracted a fierie spirit, out of the minerall 
matter, joining the same with his proper aire, which encluded 
in the Axeltree, being hollow, carrieth the wheeles, making a 
continuall rotation or revolution, except issue or vent be given 


to the Axeltree, whereby that imprisoned spirit may get 
forth. I am bold thus to conjecture, because I did at sundry 
times pry into the practise of this gentleman, with whom I 
was very familiar. Moreover, when as the King our Sove- 
raigne, could hardly beeleve that this motion should be per- 
petuall, except the misterie were revealed unto him : this 
cunning Bezaleel, in secret manner disclosed to his Majestic 
the secret, whereupon he applauded the rare invention. The 
fame hereof caused the Emperor to entreate his most excellent 
Majestic to licence Cornelius Bezaleel to come to his Court, 
there to effect the like Instruments for him, sending unto Cor- 
nelius a rich chaine of gold. 

Phil. It becometh not me to make question concerning the 
certaintie of that, which so mighty Potentates out of the sub- 
limity oi their wisedomes have approved, yet me thinketh that 
time and rust, which corrupteth and weareth out all earthly 
things, may bring an end to this motion in a few yeeres. 

Theo. To the end of time may not weare these wheeles by 
their motion, you must know that they move in such slow 
measure, that they cannot weare, and tiie lesse, for that they 
are not forced by any poyse of waight. It is reported in the 
•preisuce of Eudydes Elements by John Dee, that he and Hie- 
ronimus Cardajius saw an instrument of perpetuall motion, 
which was soldo for 20 talents of gold, and after presented to 
Charles the fift Emperour : wherein was one wheele of such 
invisible motion, that in 70 yeeres onely his owne period 
should be finished. Such slow motion cannot weare the 
wheeles. And to the end rust may not cause decay, everv 
Engine belonging to this instrument, is double goilded witti 
fine gold, which preserveth from rust and corruption. 

Phil. This wonderfull demonstration of Artificiall motion, 
immitating the motion Celestiall, about the fixed earth, doth 
more prevaill with me to approve your reasons before aleadged, 
concerning the moving of the Heavens, and the stability of 
the Earth, then can Copernicus assertions, which conceme 
the motion of the Earth. I have heard and read of manic 
strange motions artificiall, as were the inventions of Boetius. 

After enumerating these and others, PhiL concludes : — 

These were ingenious inventions, but none of them are 
comparable to this perpetuall motion here described, which 
time by triall in ages to come, will much commend. 

16 PERPETUUM mobile; 

Theo. These great misteries were attained by spending 
more oyle then wine : by taking more paines then following 
pleasure. Thus ends Chap. III., at page 63. 

About the middle of the seventeenth century John Fobdb,* 
in the first act of his drama ^ 'Tis Pity,' &c., among its other 
characters, one remarks, in reference to some schemer : — 
" Why look ye, uncle, my barber told me just now, that there 
is a fellow came to town who undertakes to make a mill go 
without the mortal help of any water or wind, only with 

In 1642, P. Mabius Bettikus published his celebrated 
' Apiaria Philosophise MathematicsB,' folio, in which he gives 
an engraving and description of an Archimedian screw, sup- 
posed to be capable of raising water to act on the floats of a 
vertical water-wheel, which is thereby to keep the water screw 
continually rotating. The illustration, described in German, 
maybe seen in 'Per. Mob.,' First Series, Addenda C, pp. 612-13. 

Gaspab Sohott, in his 'Magise Universalis Naturae et 
Artis,' 4to, Herbipoli, 1658, gives the annexed engraving of 
a self-acting pump, invented by P. Valentine Stansel, and 
which is also described in the folio work of J. I. W. Dobezenski 
de Nigro Ponte, entitled ' Nova et Amaenior de admirando 
fontiumgenio philosophia,' Ferrarise, 1657. A, £, C is a large 
cistern of water, above which is another cistern D, E, which is 
supplied from the lower cistern by the pump X, operated by 
the water-wheel M, N, the crank L of which is attached by a 
rod K to the horizontal beam H, I, K, which swings at H, from 
the side of the upper cistern, as shown at F,G,H. The force- 
pump X, on the depression of the plunger 0, causes the water 
to rise up the vertical pipe P, Q, E, S, and thence discharge 
itseK into the cistern D, &om which a small portion is allowed 
to escape through the short pipe T, V, whence it falls on the 
water-wheel, and so on continuously, as this old inventor 
imagined, and as many modem adopters of the same fallacious 
scheme have fondly hoped to reproduce. 

Gaspab Sohott, in his 'Mechanica Hydraulico-Pneumatica,' 
4to, 1657, affords a long history of hycbo-pneumatic machines 
projected for acting as perpetual motions, minutely described, 
with singular patient investigation of their possible and im- 

* J. Dodflley's Select Collection of Old Plays, in 12 volumes. 2nd 
edition, Svo. 1780. See vol. yiii., p. 22. 

possible qualities. Here we have again alluBioa to P. Marins 
Bettinus, who discusses the aiibject in his ' Apiajiis snis 
DCathematicia,' Apiar. 4, Progy. i., Fropos. x. Also, P. 
Chris. Scheineuros, in ' Disquisition Mathem.,' Num. 15, 
Gonsect. iv. ; and P. Ant. M. Eeytft, in ' Ocnlo Enoch et 
£liie;' and likewise Eitoher, in his ' Artis Magnet;' and 
P. Chris, Griinbergerns ; and Cardan, In the same work, 
he published the fiulowiug memorandum : — 

1, P. KiBOHEB, consider the idea [of a mechanical perpetual 
motion] to be true, and I confirm it by this reason and example. 
Let there be a wheel A D B C, in which are two weights C 
and D, of any kind, be it lead or stone, or in the form of 
veesele and filled with water or some other fluid ; this wheel 
should move round the centre E, with a motion either tem- 
porary or perpetual ; and the wheel must be moved not by 
any exterior agent but by the weights themselves. It. is 
manifest, &om the property of beams or balances, that if the 
two weights C and D are equal, and depend from equal beams or 



arms of the balance, there will be no motion to and fro, for 
neither preponderates ; therefore if the wheel or the arms of 

the balance C D are to 
TU»i move to and fro for any 

space of time, some force 
requires to be added; and 
to move perpetually in a 
circle, they must be im- 
pelled by this superadded 
, force. And the reason of 
the first is that it is na- 
tural for both weights to 
gravitate equally in the 
centre of the wheel or its 
fulcrum E. Therefore, in 
order that the equilibriimi 
of the wheel or balances 
may be oyercome, and be^ 
come mobile from a state 
of immobility, some force is reqtiired to be superadded. 

Now this superadded force must not be extraneous to the 
machine in order to produce perpetual motion ; a machine is 
desired which may be moved by some intrinsic and proper 
force, not by an external agency ; which happens in the case 
before us if the wheel be so contrived that one weight may 
elevate the other, and each may be alternately raised, and so 
on perpetually. Which I maintain to be impossible ; because 
equal cannot raise equal, nor the lesser the greater ; without 
any weight it cannot be, as we have said, and much less with 
one weight without another. 

They say that it is established in mechanics that an equal, 
or even a less weight can raise another and carry it upward. 
If, indeed, the beams or arms of the balance are unequal, as 
if the arm E D in the supposed case be elongated, and a fourth 
let us say of the length of the part E D be added to F : doubt- 
less the weight D, placed at F, will raise the equal weight C 
opposite, wluch is nearer the centre or fulcrum E. So, if the 
weight t> be diminished by a fourth part, that is, if the weight 
C being 4 lbs., the weight D equal to it be made little more 
than 3 lbs. ; the weight D placed in F will yet raise the 
opposite weight C by reason of the greater length of the arm 


or beam. Again, if the arm E F be lengthened still more, 
to G, and a half^ saj, of the whole of this portion of the 
beam thus added, and the weight D reduced to a weight of 
little more than 2 lbs. ; .the weight D will still raise C, on 
account of the doubled length of the arm E G with respect 
to EC. 

A similar effect will be produced by the multiplication of 
wheels, as a small quantity of water raises a large quantity ; 
so that a greater quantity ascends than descends. Therefore 
a weight can overcome one equal to it, and a less can over- 
come a greater. Therefore perpetual artificial motion is 

The true answer to this is, that perpetual motion is not 
effected in any way by this means; because in producing 
motion by machinec^ not only weight and power must be 
considered, but also the time in which the motion is performed 
and the interval or space between the motions. Although, 
therefore, by a machine a less power or a less weight may 
move or raise a greater, it yet cannot do it in the same time, 
or with the same velocity, or through the same space as would 
a power a little greater or equal ; but if the moving power be 
half as great as the weight to be moved, the space required 
must be double, and the time afforded double ; that is, it will 
require to be moved twice as quickly as the weight to be 

So that in the time in which the weight moves to H, the 
weight G, haK as large, moves to I ; it is required then that 
the weight G traverse the arc GI whilst the weight C traverses 
the arc H ; the arc G I bdn^ twice as great as the arc H, 
because the semi-diameter E is supposed to be twice as 
great as the semi-diameter EG; for the circimiferences of 
different circles are to each other as their diameters, vide 
Pappo Alexandr., Book 8, Collect. Proposit. 22. From this 
then it manifestly follows that motion once beguh cannot 
continue, as appears in the supposed example, if the weight 
G descends to K, and the weight C descends to A, and it will 
appear still more clearly in the following machines. 

But we have better and more accurately treated this question 
of the possibility or impossibility of perpetual motion in our 
^ Magia Mechaiiica,' with arguments derived from philosophy, 
centrobarycs, statics, and mechanics. 


Tills tlierefore being premised, as the powerfiil machines 
from which bold mechanicians are attempting to educe per- 
petnal motion may be hydraulical, or hydro-pneumatical, I 
have considered [says Schott] that I should be doing a service 
to the curious reader if, from amongst the many which I have 
either seen or read of, or have foimd in the memoranda of 
P. Kircher (for many indeed seriously examine the idea of 
Kircher), I selected some and brought them into a form so 
that either the ingenuity of the authors, if considered worthy 
of praise, should be made known, or that the fsillacy might be 
exposed if errors were detected. 

At page 341 Schott describes, as Machine 11., a spiral 
tube in a plane, raising water and exercising perpetual 

P. Mabius Bbttinus, in the above-quoted *Apiarium,' Pro- 
gymnas i. Proposit. 13, brings forward another hydraulic 
machine, and considers that water placed in it will by itself 
move it and ascend, and will be an exemplification of per- 
petual motion. 

The first idea of the machine, he says, he owes to the inge- 
nious D. Alfonso Iseis, from whom he received letters refer- 
ring to the invention on the 29th of September, in the year 
1634, as appears in Scholio 2 of the proposition quoted. 

Before he brings forward the machine he premises these 

I. Water accommodates itself to the vessels in which it is 
contained : thus, if in a four-sided vessel, or a round vessel, &c., 
it takes a square or roimd form, &c. 

II. Water always assumes ^uilibrium between its extreme 
parts, even if contained in a curved tube having converging 
ends, and one end being larger than the other, it will contain 
a greater quantity of water. 

Vide iconis. ^^r example, if in the tube A B in the following 
Fig. 3. figure, water be poured, it will take the Comicular 
form, and the parts at A and at C will be equidistant from 
the horizon, and consequently wiU be in equilibrium. This 
hypothesis is manifested in daily experiments, from the nature 
of water. 

III. The centre of gravity of the water (since it is permis- 
sible to suppose the centre of gravity in the fluid) and of the 
tube from A to C, will not be in the middle, that is to say 


above axid near B, bat in the parts between B and C, becaase 
more parts of water are in the wider portion of the tabe from 

B to A. This hypotheBie apx>ear8 manifest not only from 
physical experiments (Bays BettinoB), but' also fcom mathe- 
matical demoHBtrations ctf geometrical mechanics. 

P. Ant. Mabtin, in 1640, projected a perpetual clepBydra, 
or Horarium Eydranlicmn, as given in the adjoining figure, 
showing two adjoining cistema, A and G, the former being 
air-tight, with a funnel at N, to supply it with water, which 
can flow by tbe tube H I to tbe lower part of G, while a pipe 
D conveys water to tbe top of the same cistern, to flow tbenoe 
by a pipe K to tbe over-shot water-wheel L, regulated by a 
lever X, on which is tbe weight V. The clock dial is seen 
at T, The pneumatic principle on which it is expected that 
this absurd arrangement will act is attempted to be demon- 


strated hy the diagrams A, D, G, showing the principle of the 
barometer, whether the tube be vertical or bent. 

Schott gives, at page 360, a description of. Fig. 9, a 
hydraulic machine exUbited in P. Kercher's museum, the 
object of which is to elevate water by means of a force-pump, 
operated by a water-wheel. We here see the water thus raised 
flowing above like a fountain, while the surplus water falls 
on the water-wheel. This manifest absurdity has had many 
modem claimants. 

Another hydraulic machine. Fig. 12, presumed by Schott 
to be capable of perpetual motion, is a pump worked by 
crossed levers T, having one end attached to a pump rod, and 
a bucket attached to each of their extreme ends Y Y, to act 
by receiving a portion of the water raised, which is returned 
from L, M, N, for that purpose. A is the bottom, and K the 
top cistern, tiie latter supplied by the pipe G, H, I. The 
monstrosity of this scheme refutes itself. 

Passing to Machine 13, Schott makes the following state- 
ment in reference to Scheiner's gnomon at the centre of the 
world : — 

P. Chbistophbb Schbineb, a German, the discoverer of the 
solar spots, and an accomplii^ed illustrator, in ' Mathematical 
Disquisitions,' Numb. XY., Corollary 4, asserts perpetual arti- 
ficial motion not to be repugnant to nature* He supposes it 
as follows : — If an axis passed through the centre of the 
universe (or rather through the centre of gravity, wherever 
that may be) and to it were attached one extreme of a gnomon, 
whilst to the gnomon's other extreme were afiGbced a weight, this 
preponderating, says he, the gnomon would be moved round 
the centre of the imiverse, and that perpetually. What 
Scheiner says of the weight affixed to the gnomon, may be said 
also of water contained in a vessel attached to the gnomon ; 
so the proposed problem will belong to hydraulics ; and as it 
is ingenious, I have set it down here to be propounded and 

Let the centre of the imiverse then, or of gravity, be A, 
and the gnomon A 6 C, of which the extremity A is pierced 
and traversed by an axis going through the centre of the 
world, so that it may turn and revolve freely and easily 
aroimd the said centre ; to the other extremity of the gnomon, 
G, let a phial full of water be attached. See Fig. 14. 




These conditions being granted, Scheiner says that, the 
weight C will turn around the centre A and will first come 

to D, thence to E, thence to F and 
G ; then it will return to C, having 
described a complete circle, ODE 
F G ; then it will again move to 
D, E, F, &c., and so perpetuallj, 
since there is no reason for its stop* 
ping in any point of the circle 
rather than in another. 

That indeed the weight affixed 
to the gnomon will move from 
to D, is proved by daily experi- 
ence, by which it is established thai 
a gnomon so contrived and placed 
erect on any flat space, will not be able to stand, but the arm 
B C, C preponderating, will move towards D. 

It may in the second place be proved, that if, on the other 
hand, another arm B G be added to the gnomon, equal in 
weight and similar to the other, the whole G B C A will re- 
main motionless in equilibrium ; therefore the arm B G being 
taken away and equilibrium being destroyed, the arm BO 
must move in the opposite direction. 

B. Joannes Baptista Eicciolus, Book II., ' Almagesti Novi,' 
Ohap. IV., Num. II., says, very happily, that Scheiner, that 
most acute observer of the sun, must have been dazed ; and 
replies to his proofs thereupon, that if a gnomon be set up out 
of the world's centre, as in I, the arm B will feJl, because 
by its feJl it will approach nearer to the universal centre of 
^vity; and that a gnomon being placed in the aforesaid 
manner at the centre of the earth, the weight G will not fall, 
because it cannot thereby come any nearer to the common 
centre A. 

These several methods are succeeded by Aniiotations on 
schemes proposed by Drebel, Boekler, and D. Harstorfferus. 

In his 'Mysteries of Nature and Art,'* 1668, Schott gives 
as Problem XIV. the following : — 

* * Universal Mysteries of Nature and Art,* by P. Gaspar Schott, of 
the Royal Court and the Society of Jesus. 

Parts III. and IV. Herbipolis, 1858. 
.. [Part in., Book I. ' Magia Centrobaryca/ p. 81.] 




Whether there could be a perpetual artificial motion around 
the centre of the Earth ? 

We have treated this question in our Hydraulico-pneumatio 
Mechanics, Part 2, Class 2, Machine 13, not however univer- 
sallj, but only in one par- 
ticular case, that of the 
Gnomon of Scheiner. For 
P. Ghristopher Scheinerj 
in ' Mathematical Dis- 
quisitions,' in Number 
XV., Corollary 4, asserts 
Perpetual Artificial Mo- 
tion not to be repugnant 
to Nature, and attempts 
to prove it in the fol- 
lowing manner. Let a 
gnomon of a certain 
weight A B C be sus- 
pended around A, the 
centre^ of the universe, 
and bound to the beam 
DF, which is supported 
by tiie columns D F and 
E Q and turns at the pole 
D or E; or let it be &ced at the poles, but the gnomon revolv- 
ing at A. 

These being the conditions, I say that the gnomon ABC 
will revolve from C to H and towards I, thence will return to 
C, thence to H as before, and so on perpetually. The cause 
of this continual motion is the forcible suspension ; for the 
whole gnomon preponderates in C on account of the perpen- 
dicular tangent B A ; which effect becomes more marked if a 
globe of iron S be supposed suspended at C. As therefore the * 
whole of this mass, as well from the supports of the balance 
as from the momentary diameter, hangs suspended at C, and 
the vertex A, on account of the firm beam D E, cannot fall 
from the centre of the universe ; it comes to pass that all points 
as well of the globe S, as of the gnomon ABC, with a con- 
tinual motion turn round A ; but because, by the line B A in 
the fixed point A, they are held from falling to the centre ; 
iherefore the greatest force of that tendency is exerted in the 

26 PEBPBTuuM mobelb; 

line B, and induces it to inclination ; wliicli inclination on 
account of the continuous solidity of the gnomon cannot be at 
all abated, so that the whole impetus is exerted either at the 
point A about the moyeable beam or at the moveable poles of 
the beam D and E ; which poles being free in their sockets 
D and E, abandon themselves to the motion of Nature, and 
thus do not in any wise hinder a perpetual circular motion. 
What indeed is seK-evident in this, reason confirms, and daily 
experience in statics manifests. For if a short gnomon stand 
eitiier on the terrestrial superficies M N, O P, or Q E; it will 
always fall towards the part 0, or N, by the preponderating 
portion M K C ; which is manifested in daily experiments. 

Thence it is evident that if the gnomon were entire, the 
force which it exerts at N would pass into the line B A still 
hanging over the centre. And this is one argument. The 
other is from the contrary. For if an eqnal and similar 
gnomon were attached towards the part D, then the whole 
mass hanging on its centre would remain in equilibrium and 
there would be no motion ; consequently the one half being 
taken away, the other would necessarily move according to 
the laws^and experience of statics. If the shortened gnomon 
M B C N were bound only to the point M, the rest being left 
free, it would certainly revolve, and in the same case, the 
point C would describe almost a semicircular arc till, coming 
down to a perpendicular position, it would there remain. 

Now as- the force of the entire gnomon falls in the vertex A, 
there would be an entire and perpetual revolution around 
A. Much more would this be the case if on the centre 
stood either the small curve A C L A or the larger one A K 0, 
or finally the globe S alone, hanging from two iron rods A B 
and B C, or from one arc, A N C. From this, therefore, it 
may be demonstrated that a perpetual circular motion is pos- 

Thus far Scheiner. 

Bettinus examines this Problem, ' Apiar.* 4, Progymnax 1, 
Proposition 7, and Eicciolus in 'Almagesto Novo,' Book 2, 
Chap. 4, Corollary 11., and they say that a gnomon placed in 
this manner around the centre of the earth would not have 
perpetual motion but perpetual rest, unless impelled by exter- 
nal force, and that force ceasing, it would again remain at rest. 
They assign as a reason that the weights move in order to 


C0IU6 nearer to the centre of gravity or of the world ; now the 
gnomon cannot get nearer the centre, because this same centre 
of gravity (wherever the said centre may be and in whatever 
place around the centre C the machine be situated) is always 
in an equal line of direction, nor in any one place is there a 
nearer approach to the said centre than in another ; therefore 
it will rest in whatever place it be situated. A gnomon how-^ 
ever set up out of the earth's centre will fall, because the arm 
B C, the appended weight S, and the centre of gravity of the 
whole machine, are able to make a nearer approach to the centre 
of gravity. 

In this place, I have added in the Mechanics, that the arm 
B C, with the appended weight S, falls, if the gnomon with 
the said weight be set up out of the centre of the universe, 
because it is impossible that it should remain at rest, unless 
a straight line drawn from the centre of the world should pass 
through it, and through the centre of gravity of the gnomon 
with the afGixed weight, and at the same time through the 
point of suspension or support, as we have above demonstrated, 
Chap. 4, Proposition 1, so when it happens not to be in the 
said situation out of the earth's centre, so that the centre of 
gravity is not in the arm A B, but either in the arm B C or in 
the globe S, or in the space between the two arms ; it is no 
wonder that the arm B C falls, as long as it moves to and 
fro, until it either rests at its lowest level, or remains sus- 
pended in that situation in which a straight line drawn from 
the centre of the earth traverses at the same time both the 
centre of gravity of the whole machine composed of the gnomon 
and the appended weight, and the point of suspension. The 
machine being so constituted in the centre of the universe, 
and the point of suspension, or rather support (for the machine 
is supported, not suspended) coinciding with the aforesaid 
universal centre; since it is necessary that a straight lin^ 
issuing from the centre of the universe, and passing through 
the centre of gravity of the machine (wherever it may be), 
should also pass through the point of suspension ; it also ne- 
cessarily follows that it remains at rest, and only moves by an 
external impulse, and that the impulse ceasing, it will again 
return to quiescence, and in that part of the circle C H I in 
which the impulse ceases. 

In this place I may say with regard to mechanical prin- 

28 PEBPBTUUM mobile; 

ciples which theoretically are true, but practically, perhaps 
false, it is difficult to perceive, whether the point of suspen- 
sion and the point at ihe foot of the support of the machine, 
are both above the centre of gravity of the whole machine, and 
also in every position are situated in the same straight line 
from the centre of the world and from the point of support, 
so that no one of the three may deviate from it. When this 
happens, the gnomon cannot stand erect in its position, but is 
necessaHly inclined downwards towards its imaginary horizon, 
that is, towards an imaginary line or plane which is perpen- 
dicula^ to a line passin| through the centre of gravity 

Although, indeed, the centre of gravity of the whole ma- 
chine by this inclination and feUing does not approach nearer 
the centre of the world, it yet comes nearer to its horizon. 

For a heavy body with its centre of gravity, when freej 
descends by a straight line, that is, by the line of direction 
to the centre of the universe; and when not free, but prevented 
from all descent, it is impelled towards the centre of the earth 
with the strength which it can exert ; it can indeed in our 
case, when the line of direction does not pass exactly through 
Ihe supporting point and foot of the gnomon, move towai^s 
its horizon simply because it cannot remain erect, unless the 
line of direction passes exactly through the support and foot ; 
therefore necessaj*ily it must move thither. 

If indeed it were once moved towards its horizon, and 
would be always so moved in every position, either because 
the cause of motion was always present, or because it would 
not remain in any spot, the impetus would last yet from the 
preceding conceived motion. 

It is therefore possible to see in the gnomon of Scheiner 
a perpetual motion around the centre of the world; which 
I leave to others for a better result. 

Gaspab Schott compiled a work entitled *Technica Cu- 
riosa,' comprehending 'Mirabelia Artis,' published in a thick 
small quarto at Herbipoli, 1664. 

He describes at page 343 self-acting buckets for raising 
water, invented by tTEBEMiAH Mirz, illustrated with four ela- 
borate engravings, appended to which are very minute descrip- 
tions, with annotations thereon. 

The same cumbersome and preposterous water-elevator, 
^gB, L, n,, and lU., is described and more simply illustrated 


33 PBRPBTTTOH uobile; 

in Schotf s ' Magis UniTeTaaliB Natime et Artis,' 4to, 1658, 
from whidi we ttterefore select the annexed three engravinge, 
which will suffice to show its complication and oonBeqaent 
inBuf&ciency for attaJnii^ the desired ohject. A is a bucket 
slung from the beam Z, Z, by the cord 1, 1, over the pnlleys 
E, E, on which cord mna another, pulley L, carrying by a cwd 
a similar bncket M, at the bottom of which is a weighted 
doable cord 0, 0, with weights No. 1 to 8 ; 8 is a fixed cietem, 
and in common with A and M, has a bent pipe and valve at 
the bottom. G, G, are guide-roda, and F, F, guide-rings. 

In the 11th Chapter of the Tlth Book, a very ancient con- 
trivanoe is attributed to the same J. Mitz, 1668, illustrated 
with an engraving at page 109, as in the annexed diagram. 

WiLUAU ScHBOTBR is the inveutor of a different machine 
consisting of a series of wheela worked by levers weighted at 
three different angles, and which are in connection with six 
wheels placed in scries of three each, one above the other, 
intended to raise and lower a nnmbOT of spherical rolling 
weights to euBore a continuous motion. Book YI., Chap. II., 
pa^ 374. Petes GaONBEBGEBDS claims a perpetnal motion 
machine in the form of a spiral wheel ; bat although it is vray 


clear any rolling weight may be rolled away from the centre 
through its long spiral patib, it is by no means self-evident 
how it is ever to return again to re-peif orm the same operation, 
yet eleven pages are devoted to describing its construction, 
with an engraving, and annotations, pages 412-422. 

J. J. Beohebi is mentioned in the XSi Book, for his water 
clock, of which an engraving is also given, with fourteen 
pages of description and remarks, pages 732-746 ; also above 
fifteen pages with a presumed improvement on the same, 
pages 746-761. 

Following this scheme, commencing at page 761, and ending 
page 771, we have an engraving and description of a machine 
to be worked by means of large spherical weights, which it 
is proposed shall, by the particular means named, raise and 
lower themselves. 

E. P. Staioslaus Solsei, a Jesuit, has, in Book X., 48 pages 
devoted to his invention, already described in the First Series 
of ' Perpetuum Mobile,' p. 169. 

PoLONioo propos^ a scheme for alternately raising or lower- 
ing two vessels attached to the end of double levers, acting as 
pump rods or handles, and working a double-barrelled force- 
pump. Water is thus to be elevated, leaving sufficient to 
weight the ends of the levers by expending a portion to refil 
them alternately as they become elevated. This wild scheme 
occupies eight pages. 

Schott, in his ' Thaumaturgus Physicus, sive Magisd Uni- 
versalis Naturae et Artis,' 4to, 1659, gives, at page 312, an 
account of the magnetical invention of Db. Jagobus, Fig. 1, 
consisting of a string of iron balls A, suspended on a grooved 
wheel E, on an axle C, between two uprights F, F. At H 
lies a large loadstone which is to attract the balls at D, and 
so to cause the wheel to rotate. 

He next alludes to Figure 2, being the rotatory arrangement 
of Ant. db Fantis Tabvisini, quoted by H. Cardan. 

Then follows 'De Hemicyclo Joannis Theisnebi,' as in 
Fig. 3, showing a large magnet A, elevated on a short pillar, 
at the foot of which is the semicircular and inclined tube 
B, C, D, E, F, G, up which the ball at G is supposed to ascend, 
and then to descend by the route K, D, F, than which nothing 
could possibly be more futile. 

Equally outrageous is the magnetical scheme described by 


P. Ath. Kibohbb, Fig. 4, whereby a disc amaed with iron 
points A, B, G, D, is intended to rotate under the influence of 
the four magnets F, G, H, I, shown in the diagram. 

Another pretentious magnetic motion is that deyised by 
HiEBONTMUS FiNUOius, Fig. 5, also noticed by Eiroher, being 
two iron rods C, D, E, F, supported by the pillar A, and 
which rods at I, E, and L, M, are to maintain constant attrac- 
tion and repulsion, a consequence utterly impossible. 

Kibghbb's sphere, Fig. 6, is described as a glass globe A, 
B, C, in which is suspended the small globe D, made of any 
metal but iron, divided into two hollow hemispheres inside, 
firmly screwed together, and between them is placed a load- 
stone ; around the globe are twenty-four divisions, and point- 
ing towards them is a fish-shaped index. This was reputed 
to be quite a magical time-piece ! 

Samuel Habtlib, of whom a memoir was published in 
1865,* was extensively associated with literary and scientific 
men, both at home and abroad, in the seventeenth century. 
Wilh very moderate means he was enabled to promote the 
publication of many useful pamphlets by several learned and 
ingenious men of his time, and among others Cbesst Dymogk, 
author of two letters, under the title of * An Invention of 
Enginei^ of Motion,' 4to, 1651. He is stated to have had a 
large model at Lambeth; but his printed letters are very 
indefinite in respect to it, while they are distinguished for a 
peculiar devotional style. His propiises amount to an assu- 
rance that all mills of ordinary construction will be super- 
seded by his wonderful discovery. We naturally ask, there- 
fore, on finding that Bartlib wrote to the philosophical Boyle, 
— " as to his inoention of motion^ of which I am no more so 
fond as I was wont to be ;" (that is, dating from 1651 to 1654) 
had these three years' experience taught him that there 
was some feJlacy in the new scheme, probably from its being 
too much like a perpetual motion of the old order, obliging him 
in consequence to declare that he was weary of such offers of 
doubtful improvement? As there is not a word of description in 
his two letters, we shall simply give Dymock's opening address 
as amply su£&cient to show the tack he was upcm. He says : — 

* A Biographical Memoir of Samuel Hartlib, Milton's £Eimiliar friend ; 
with a rqjrint of the pamphlet entitled^ * An Invention of Engines of 
Motion/ by H. Dircks. 12mo. 1865. 

36 PERPETUUM mobile; 

« Whereas by the blessmg of Grod, who only is the giver 
of every good and perfect ^ft;, while I was searching after 
that wluch many &r before me in all humane learning have 
sought, but not yet found, (viz.) a Perpetual Motion, or self- 
motion, or a lessening the distance between strength and 
time ; though I say not that I have yet fully obtained the 
thing itself, yet I have advanced so near it, that already I 
can, with tiie strength or help of four men, do any work 
which is done in England, whether by wind, water, or horses, 
as the grinding of Wheat, Eape, or raising of waters : Not by 
any power or wisdom of mine own, but by God's assistance I 
have already erected one little Engine or great Model at 
Lambeth, able to give suf&cient demonstration/' 

Samuel Pepys notes in his diary : * 

" JttZy 2Sth, 1660. — To Westminster, and there met Mr, 
Henson, who had formerly had the brave clock that went 
with bullets (which is now taken away-from him by the king, 
it being his goodsV' 

On this his editor remarks: Some clocks are still made 
with a small ball, or a bullet, on an inclined plane, which 
turns every minute. Gainsbobough, the painter, had a bro- 
ther, who was a Dissenting minister at Henley-on-Thames, 
and possessed a strong genius for mechanics. He invented a 
clock of a very peculiar construction, which, after his death, 
was deposited in the British Museum. It told the hour by a 
little bell, and was kept in motion by a leaden bullet, which 
dropped from a epiral reservoir at the top of the olod^ into a 
little ivory bucket. This was so contrived as to discharge it 
at the bottom, and by means of a counter-weight, was carried 
up to the top of the clock, where it received another bullet, 
which was discharged as the former. This seems to have 
been an attempt at the perpetual motion.f 

Among the folio plates of mechanical drawings in the 
fine work compiled by G. A. Bookleb,} published in 1662, 
are the three which here follow. It is not a little surprising 

* • Diary and Correspondence of Samnel Pepys, F.R.S/ 4 vols. 12mo. 
1858. See vol. i., p. 99. 

t ' Gentleman's Mag.,' 1785, p. 931, 

X George Andrew Biickler, Theatrmn Machinanun novum, exhibens 
Aqnarias, Alatas, &c, folk), [154 folio plates]. Coloniae Agripplnae. 

Pis. ISI. 


to find associated with the practical engines, machines, and 
many osefdl mechanical contrivances of that period, such 
elaborated mechanical monstrosities as those here exhibited, 
and pretended to be applicable for fountains, for grinding, and 
for pumping. 

He gives the first as Fig. 160, "A Water-screw," the 
purpose of which Hie says) is not quite so obvious as to be 
understood at the nrst view of the figure; for the inventor 
intimates that he intends it for a perpetuum mobile. He has, 
however, scarcely worked out his purpose, as we may, never- 
theless, say without any prejudice to tibe inventor. Nor will 
we here describe how tibe excellence of this work consists in 
the proportion and distribution of the wheel, and the balls or 
weights, because it is our intention to publish, at a future 
time, a separate treatise on the perpetuum mobile, in which 
we shall consider this and several similar machines. 

The next design is Fig. 161, " A Water-screw," having a 
grindstone for cutlery, &c. Bockler remarks : 

This machine also is intended for a perpetuum mobile. 
The inventor discharges water from the reservoir A, by the 
canal B, on the water-wheel C, which turns the open screw- 
cylinder D, by means of the toothed wheel E, the cog-wheel 
Fy the spoked wheel G, together with the cylinder H, and the 
spoked wheel I, whilst this spoked wheel I, catching the small 
cog-wheel L, together with die cylinder M, and the handle E, 
turns the small spoked wheel of the screw-cylinder H, and 
the screw-cylinder itself and thus draws up again the water 
discharged &om the reservoir A through the spiral screw Q. 
In order to render this machine usefid, a couple of grind- 
stones are placed on the cylinder D. Concerning this machine, 
it is particularly to be considered, whether a sufiicient amount 
of water can be raised again, as has been frequently remarked 
before about similar works. 

The third plan is Fig. 162, representing '' A double Water- 
screw, with double pump." He observes: 

This machine is, on the whole, similar to the preceding 
ones. The water is discharged from the round or square 
reservoir A, by B, on the water-wheel C. A continual supply 
of water for the water-wheel is provided as follows : The 
crown wheel H is fixed on the upright cylinder M, and is 
turned by the revolutions of the cylinder, whilst it turns at 


the same time the upper wheel L, which, acting on the spokes 
of the double screw E, E, draws up sufficient water bj I, I, and 
then, as stated, discharges it by B, on the wheel C. 

The machine may be rendered useful by furnishing the 
cylinder D, with the double crank E, to drive the two pistons 
of the tubes F, F, which lift the water through the pipes 6, 6, 
into the reservoir N, whence it may be carried off for ser- 

Charles the Second was favoured by John Evelyn, a Fellow 
of the Eoyal Society at the time, and therefore not likely, in 
any matter which the scientific world repudiated, with the 
inspection of some supposed perpetual motion ; for learned 
men of his time rather approved than otherwise of all wonder- 
working automata as marvels of mechanical ingenuity. Evelyn 
says in his Diary, imder the date of 14th July, 1668, that 
during an interview with the Eing, " I showed his Majesty 
the perpetual motion sent to me by Db. Stokes from Cologne." * 
Geoboe Singlaib, a Professor of Philosophy in Glasgow 
University, who died in 1696, published in 1669 a Latin 

>> work treating on pneumatics,'!' 

y^\. composed in the form of dia- 

^—^^^^^ \\ logues. We are only concerned 

f^^ \ in respect to the first colloquy, 

^^ \\ whichcomprises eighteen pages 

^ \\ to discuss the merits of the im- 

^ \\ possible scheme shown in the 

\. \\ annexed diagram, representing 

\ \\ a syphon deHvering water or 

^ \\ mercury at the short instead 

\ \\ of the long leg, thus absurdly 

\ U enough endeavouring to reverse 

\ 1 1 its natural principle of action. 

^.,^^3ki3 - Three other colloquies are oc- 

l -^^itf^^ cupied in examining the merits 

of this scheme, extending over more than fifky pages. 

Giovanni Alphonso ]£>belli, bom at Naples in 1608, has 
undertaken to demonstrate the impossibility of a mechanical 

• * The Diary of John Evelyn. F.B.S.* 12mo. Ed. 1859. See vol. ii.. 
p. 37. 

t * Are Nova et Magna Gravitatis et Lcvitalis.' By Geoi^i Sincluri. 
4to. 1669. See pages 418-472. 



perpetual motion in his treatise published in 1670,* wherein, 
at p. 8, his third proposition relates to an invention by 
Clemens Septdoub — "a machine, apparently adapted for a 
perpetuum mobile, described, and its defect and insufficiency 
demonstrated." He proceeds : 

In this short and not altogether superfluous digression I 
shall show the impossibility of perpetual motion in a ma- 
chine which appears so much adapted for it that anybody 
might consider it not to fail in keeping up its movement. The 
structure of this machine has been commimicated to me by my 
good friend Clemens Septimius, a pupil of Galilei. Observing 
the cranes or wheels by which in Pisa and in Belgium boats 
are tugged from one canal to another by the strength of one 
man, who, treading upwards inside the wheel, turns it, as 
also in kitchens spits are turned by dogs by means of similar 
wheels, considered that he could make such a drum, the left 
side of which should be always occupied by some fluid body, 
and thus rendered heavier thaoi its right side. A brass drum, 
A F B G in the annexed diagram, is enclosed in a cylinder, 

closed on the sides by two circular plates, placed parallel, 
highly polished and well fitted and soldered. Inside the drum 
is placed the plate F C G, to act as a diaphragm. The moiety 
F C G A of the cylinder is filled with water or quicksilver, and 

* Jo. Alphonsns Borellns, in Academia Pieana Mathescos Professor 
De Motionibus Katuralibus a Gravitate Pendeotibus Liber. Begio 
Julico. 1670. 4to. 


the other moiety B F C G with oil or air. The plate F C G must 
be joined to the fixed axis proyided with the handle BL, by 
which it can be held and turned. It mast be fitted exactly to 
the two base plates and the curved sides of die cylinder, so as 
to act like a valve during rotation, and ^ prevent the egress 
of the water or quicksilver from tiie semi-cylinder FAG into 
the other semi-cylinder GFB, filled with air or oil. The 
drum is placed by the axis C on two supports, so that it may 
revolve freely, vertically to the horizon. When then the 
handle H and the diaphragm FOG joined to it is by manual 
force kept in vertical position, we would have, without doubt, 
in' such case an imaginary perpetual balance A B of equal 
radii, pressed by unequal weights, viz. by the weight of the 
mercurial or aqueous hemisphere FAG the radius C A would 
be weighed down, whilst the opposite radius B would be 
depressed by the lighter weight of the oil or air, and, because 
the xsentre of gravity of these unequal weights would always 
fall in some point D in the line between C and A, therefore 
the balance AB would always be deflected downwards to- 
wards the parts A; or, rather, would constitute the horizontal 
pendulum C D, suspended in the centre C, which pendulum 
would accordingly descend through the arc D E ; because, 
however, the heavier fluid FAG caniiot be depressed, on 
account of the impediment formed by the diaphragm FOG, 
which is retained in vertical position, it follows that the 
quicksilver of the one semi-cyfinder, being compressed and 
running up the curved surface of the dnun AG, which is 
voluble, would impel it ; wherefore the dnmi must be turned 
downwards from A towards G, when it is not detained by the 
stop, and it must consequently constantly revolve from A 
towards G, as the same cause of the turning will always be 
present, so that the pendulum C D will be continually main- 
tained in its horizontal position, and thus always press on and 
run up the surface of the driun A G, whence by such artifice 
would appear to result the perpetual motion of the drum. 

There is, as I said before, so much verisimilitude in this, 
that none of several friends to whom I communicated this 
artifice suspected the fallacy in it. Nevertheless, although 
I do not care to have ever an actual experiment with this 
machine, I do not hesitate to declare that perpetual motion 
cannot be obtained this way, as I can, indeed, not persuade 



myself that weighty bodies should ever move of their own 
account, whilst they will not ascend one hair's breadth more 
than they have previonsly descended. As therefore the 
common centre of gravity I) of both the fluids is always re- 
tained in the same horizontal plane A B C D, it seems to me 

altogether impossible that the wheel or drum A G B F should 
be turned at flie part A towards G. Therefore, although the 
common centre of gravity stands at D with reference to the 
fixed centre of rotation C, and, accordingly, constitutes a hori- 
zontal pendulum ; still, it is retained and suspended by force 
of the hand which retaius the diaphragma F G, so that it be 
not turned by force of the weight in the centre D, not other- 
wise, than if a rope pendulum C D, detained by a hand put 
under it, could not bear down through the arc D E ; and, 
although the pendulum CD in our case is not something 
continuous and tied to the centre C, nevertheless, if it even 
were that it made its swing through the arc D E just as pre- 
cisely as if it were tied to the centre C, he that hinders 
the descent of the weighty body D, which can move solely 
through the arc D E, necessarily prevents its locomotive ope- 
ration, and thus the fluid FAG, as it is entirely quiescent, 
cannot impel and turn the drum; for in no way can it be 
conceived that a projection could be impelled by a body that 
is entirely in a state of quiescence, it being necessary that 
anything projecting and impelling be affected by impulse and 
local movement so that it may impress to the object projected 
its degree of impulse. As, then, the quicksilver F A G is 



entirely inert and deficient of local movement, it appears 
altogelJier impossible that it could impress any degree of 
impulse to the object projected, viz. to the drum, wherefore 
the dram will not be carried on by local movement, and, 
accordingly, the motion of rotation can not only not be con- 
tinned perpetually by such artifice, but no motion whatever 
can be started. 

A. Capba, in 1678,* revived the favourite scheme that wo 

* Alessandro Gapra, Arcbitetto e Oittadino Gremonese, La Nnova 
Architettura, Famigliare. Small 4to. Bologna, 1678. 


have seen dates at least as far back as the thirteenth century, 
and which in modern times has had many imitators. He 
observes in Chapter XXVIIL, p. 318 : — 

On the wheel A (of the facsimile engraving opposite), 
which must be hung well equipoised between two uprights, 
are appended counter-weights, eighteen in number, all pre- 
cisely at the same distance from each other, and all exactly 
of the same weight. The counter-weights are provided with 
a small ring by which they are hung. 

Whilst the counter-weights B are farther from the centre 
C, of the wheel, they weigh more than the counter-weights I, 
because these are low and nearer to the centre C of the 
wheel, so that the counter-weights B descend and the weight 
I drops ; and whilst the weight B is alternately descending 
and the weight I ascending, the wheel will revolve continu- 
ally. But it must be understood that it is necessary to make 
the wheel perfectly true in equilibrium, so that it do not 
weigh more on one side than on the other on account of the 

In 1692, M. DB Hautb-Feuille, the author of a folio 
work comprising seven letters or tracts,* the third being en- 
titled — ' Pendule Perpetuelle, avec un nouveau balancier, &c., 
August, 1678.' His invention was a perpetual hygrometrical 
clock, and as such does not strictly come within the true 
meaning of a mechanical perpetual motion, its action being 
dependent on external agency due to the humidity of the 
atmosphere ; it is consequently unnecessary to enter upon a 
particular description of its mechanism. 

His clock depended for its movement on a pendulum formed 
of " two long rods of fir or pine wood," employed for their 
hygrometric properties. He observes generally on the sub- 
ject of perpetual motion : — 

In order to render perpetual motion, obtained by art and 
mechanism, possible, you require a machine to put itself in 
motion against nature ; and that one body should borrow more 
motion from another body than it possesses itself ; that a 
body should lose none of its motion in communicating it to 

* Kecueil des Ouvrages de M. de Haute-Feuille. Contenant plu- 
sieurs Discouvertes et Inventions nonvelles dans la Physiques et 
dans les Mechauiques. Folio. A Paris. 1692. 


50 PBEPETUUM mobile; 

another ; that a heavy body should raise itself, and make no 
resistance in being raised, and that it should be heavy at one 
time and light at another. These are all impossibilities, and 
things which imply a manifest contradiction. 

We must not be astonished, then, if all celebrated mathe- 
maticians consider this method of perpetual motion quite an 
impossibility. The well-known M. Huygens has demon- 
strated the impossibility in his * Livre de Horologio oscill- 
atorio ' : Hcec atUem (dit-il) hypothesis nostra ad liquida etiam 
corpora valet, ac per earn non solwm omnia ilia quoe de innatanti" 
hm habet Archimedes, demonstrari possunt, sed et alia pleraque 
MechaniccB Theoremata. Et sane, si hac eadem uti sdrent novo^ 
rum operum Machinatores, qui Motum Perpetuum irrito conatu 
moliuntur, faciU suos ipsi errores deprehenderent, intelligerentque 
rem earn mechanica ratione haud quaquam possibilem esse. 

Thpre is also a similar demonstration in the * Journal des 
Scavans ' of this month of August [1678], by M. de la Hire. 
Also M. Descartes ridicules it in one of his papers in the fol- 
lowing words: — "If I believed in the perpetual motion of 
Amsterdam, as truly as I do in the foregoing reasons that I 
have given you [in the letter], I should think that the happy 
inventor would soon be in possession of the 15 to 20,000 
florins which would be given to him as recompense, but which 
I fear he would require to achieve it." 

All these reasons convince me it is absurd to attempt per- 
petual motion by mechanical art, and it would only be use- 
lessly expending the strength of one's mind, and losing one's 
time to do a thing so completely adverse to all the known 
laws of nature ; but it is also true that there is a way in which 
to work with hope of success, namely, in the second method, 
that is, physically. We know, for example, that the oil of 
tartar, and the oil of vitriol, and several other liquids being 
mixed together, foment, heat, dilate, and make a great ebulli- 
tion, which passes off, and repose follows. There is no doubt 
that if any one could find means to separate these liquids by 
filtration and put them in their original state, he would have 
found a perpetual motion, which would imitate the heart of 

Some years ago I separated the two globes of a sand hour- 
glass, in one of which I placed brandy, and having re-united 
the globes I left them by chance in a window exposed to 


the sun. I found that the brandy soon passed from one 
globe to the other; I then discovered the reason, by remark- 
ing that the heat of the sun had raised in vapour the most 
subtle parts of the liquid, which had passed from one globe 
to the other, attached to the sides, being there condensed by 
the cold. This gave me occasion to think that one could, by 
this means, make a perpetual motion. 

Figure V. is a square vessel on two pivots, on which it 
turns, as letter A ; at its sides are four globes, B, C, D, and 
fe, at the openings of which are valves _ 

F, G, H, and I, disposed in such a 
manner that one of the globes is 
always shut, and the other three open; 
the globe marked B, is full of brandy 
or spirits of wine, which evaporating 
by the heat of the sim, enters into the 
globe C, where the valve is open, with- 
out entering into the globe E, whose 
valve is shut, preventing its entry. The 
portion exhaled cannot remain in the 
globe D, on the top of the case, but falls into the globe B, 
from whence it ascended by evaporation. On entering into 
the globe C, the vapour is there condensed by the cold, and 
the product overbalancing the globe C, the globe E being 
empty, it (C) is obliged to descend, and all the machine turns 
at the same time ; so that the globe C takes the place of B, 
and so on for the other ; the machine thus continuing rotation 
so long as acted on by the sun. 

All these experiments prove that physical perpetual motion 
is possible, although as far as I can judge no one has yet 
completely succeeded in it. We have not yet seen that kind 
of filtration of liquids of which I spoke, and Mr. Eeysilius 
has not yet divulged the secret of his invention. Dreble's 
liquid is also imknown ; the almanack globe, which I flattered 
myself to have discovered, is condemned by learned men as 
a dream. The globe of sulphur, and the one with the load- 
stone, and all the other perpetual motions produced by that 
stone, have not yet began to move I 

In 1863, Db. Bechbb* published an account of his per- 

* Dr. Joh. Joachim Becher's Narrische Weissheit und weise Narr- 
heit. 12mo. Francfurt, 1683. 

B 2 


petual motion, ' Physico Meclianiciim,' applied to all common 
clocks. " I have found a way" (he says) " of keeping them 
going so long as nothing in the machinery is broken, and 
the clocks remain stationary." 

He requires a cistern, as at the top of a house, to catch 
rain-water, which he appUes first to raise SOOlbs., and then by 
means of that weight to give the clock motion for one year. 
He has often found it to rain enough to keep ten such clocks 
at work. It is described in Schott's * Technica Curiosa,' and 
is also noticed by Dr. Becher, who likewise notices the fol- 
lowing, relating to P. Solsky, Andrea Eeuszner and Hart- 
mann's Perpetual Motion : — 

The Italians had always held that perpetual motion was 
possible, and any one that attempted it obtained the sobriquet 
of moto perpetuo to his name. 

Gasper Schott, in his ' CuriOsa Technica,' gives an account 
and drawing of Solskt's perpetual motion,* and accords to the 
Polish nation the honour of discovering what for so many 
thousand years had been sought. 

A large machine on his plan was erected at the Jesuit 
College in Warsaw, and shown to the King of Poland. 

Also another Polish Jesuit, P. Cogantsky, had projected 
and published plans of a scheme of his own invention. 

Dr. Becher thinks the Jesuits make claims to this subject, 
as they do to other inventions. He adds : — 

Andreas Eeuszner, and Hartmann of Leipsic, have mixed 
themselves a good deal with this subject, as I hear, from 

In 1684-92, F. T. de Lanis published, at BrixisB, his 
' Majisterium NatursB et Artis,' in three volumes, folio, the first 
of which contains a compendiiun of all that was then known 
on the subject of perpetual motion, with several additions by 
the editor himself, which he offers rather as suggestions than 
the results of experimental investigation. He conmiences, in 
Book Vin., a very elementary essay to show the sources of 
motion in nature, and to account for the probability of effect- 
ing a similar result by artificial means. This Book is divided 

* *Per. Mob.,* First Series, pp. 159-163. 


into several Chapters, and these again into several Proposi- 
tions, with tedious minuteness of detail. Proposition VII. 
conclxfdes : — " I know that there are many who defend the 
possibility of producing a perpetual motion purely artificial 
amongst whom is also our Scheiner; nay some afirm that 
it has more than once been successfully brought out ; still I 
must declare that there is no undoubted proof of anybody yet 
having seen a purely artificial perpetual motion." And in 
Proposition IX. it is remarked : — " If any one expects to ob- 
tain such a motion solely by the momenta of heavy and light 
bodies, by the disposition and arrangement of mechanism, 
they will labour in vain. But it will be otherwise, if they 
use some other natural motion as an auxiliary." He then 
suggests magnetism or humidity of the air, explaining several 
methods, which, while they add to the bulk of his treatise, 
afford no clue to a solution of the actual problem in respect 
to a " purely mechanical perpetual motion ;" and hence the 
elaborate essay before us dwindles to merely a few common- 
place schemes, which we proceed to notice. He candidly ad- 
mits at the close of his First Chapter : — " No mechanic, how- 
ever ingenious, has yet obtained the perpetual motion of even 
a small clock by the instrumentality of any natural motion. 
How much more difficult then must it be to obtain the desired 
object by employing great weights to be moved continually, 
besides the work done by the machine itself ; for the larger 
they are the greater the resistance to be overcome." 

The Second Chapter is divided into a series of Problems, 
and each problem considers some mechanical invention. He 
commences with that useless class which ostentatiously pro- 
fess to maintain continuous motion under magnetic influence, 
several of which have been already noticed in the First Series 
of 'Perpetuum Mobile;' as the suggestions of Peter Pere- 
ginus, and of John Theisner, or Taisner. Then follows a 
description by Cardan, of the method proposed " by the in- 
genious and erudite Cardinal Anthony de Fantis." Schott is 
next quoted for his description of the contrivance shown him 
by James Ambling,* consisting of a string of iron balls, ar- 
ranged around a grooved wheel, with a powerful magnet 
below. Then follow the views of P. A. Kircher, in his book 
on ' Magnetic Art ; ' who also describes the plan proposed by 
H. Finngius, consisting of two magnetic bars, raised on a 
* See pages 33, 34 ; attributed to Dr. Jacobus. 


small pillar and moving like a balance. De Lanis justly 
observes : — " But nobody will easily achieve this ;" yet he 
attempted and describes an improvement on this schenie, ob- 
serving that its continuous motion will be certain, « provided 
the machine be perfectly made and the magnets strong 
enough!" Yet, as if still ineficient, he offers a second 

In Problem IL of the same Chapter machines are considered 
which employ water as an auxiliary. He commences with 
the Archimedian Screw. " P. Bettinus, Apiaria 4, Progym. 1, 
Prop. 13, was the first to state the possibility of obtaining 
perpetual motion by means of a spiral tube, drawing up 
water ;" a contrivance which is described and demonstnited 
at considerable length, adding : — " Our author states that he 
also used this machine as a perpetual horologe, by affixing 
an index to the axis of the wheel, and round the axis a clock- 
wheel, divided into twenty-four parts." Bettinus describes a 
second method, by means of the same screw, allowing the 
water raised to fall upon a water-wheel, " which should turn 
the screw, and thereby constantly supply fresh water for the 
revolutions of the wheel.** De Lanis conmienting on this, 
remarks : — " I consider it, however, not impossible, that by 
means of the aforesaid water-screw perpetual motion might 
be obtained,'* provided " the motion of the 8ci*ew be as rapid 
as possible," and he suggests that mercury would be superior 
to water for effecting this purpose, and flatteringly concludes : 
— " If then you construct the machine with great exactness, 
and render it rotatory with the least impetus, you need not 
entirely despair of success." 

Concerning plans devised for working by the aid of the 
pump or Ctesibian machine, he says : — " A man well versed 
in machines once solemnly assured me that he had con- 
structed such a machine, which did move perpetually, and 
raised more water than was required for the pump's move- 
ment by means of the water-wheel." Ho was desirous of 
seeing the model, but the mechanic's death prevented further 
information. He observes that: — "Kircher, and after him 
P. Schott, describes similar pumping machines." He saw a 
model in Kircher's museum, " but it was far from exhibiting 
the perpetual motion." De Lanis proceeds to describe at 
some length two schemes of his own, upon the working of 


which he throws some doubts, but remarks: — "I nevertheless 
consider that by means of the preceding machine, or a similar 
one, furnished with one or several pumps, perpetual motion 
might probably be effected ; only it must be made on a very 
small scale, and constructed with the utmost accuracy." 

As we proceed, we arrive at suggested auxiliary aids. Thus 
Problem IV. promises " a pump and a new pendulum, aided 
by aerial pressure," one of De Lanis' own inventions. The 
next problem is "A most exact perpetual horologe with a 
double pendulum," aided by " atmospherical pressure ;" with 
the addition of two suggested improvements. Problems IX. 
and X. are suggestions for employing air, and also water, one 
of the contrivances being made by Father Marc Anthony 
Vincent, " a diligent searcher for Perpetual Motion." De 
Lanis, allusive to his own labours, says : — " Having, whilst 
engaged with these experiments, met with the work of 
N. Capra, an architect in Cremona, in which he declares his 
having obtained a continual flow of water by means of a 
machine like the aforesaid one (acting on the principle of 
capillary attraction), which was publicly exhibited, but our 
labour to find it was in vain." 

" There are many machines worked merely by wheels, levors, 
pulleys, weights, or otherwise by solids without any inter- 
vention of fluids ;" among these are noticed that by P. Jeremiah 
Mitz, which he described to Gaspar Schott, who published it 
in his ' Technica Curiosa.' It was a wheel furnished with 
iron arms, terminated with leaden balls.* De Lanis states 
that " This apparatus had previously, in 1652, been invented 
by P. Paul Casatus, who at the time applied for his advice." 
He concludes, however : — " Nobody has yet by this or similar 
means obtained the movement expected/' De Lanis was evi- 
dently not aware of the antiquity of this project. 

Father Grumberger, a distinguished mathematician, is 
noticed for his contrivance of " a spiral machine, in certain 
parts of which he enclosed balls, by which arrangement the 
centre of gravity was always to be kept outside the line of 
suspension of the machine, which was to continue its revo- 
lutions. Also " Mr. William Schroder describes a plan by 
means of six balls successively dropped into an upper wheel, 
from which they descend into two lower wheels, and thence 

* Already described at page 32. 


ascend again by tliree other wheels, and drop again into the 
first wheel. The whole machine consists of eight wheels ; 
bat it is evident how useless is the labour in the production 
of such a machine." (See also Schott's * Technica Curiosa.') 

The Third Chapter of De Lanis' voluminous compilation 
refers to " Physico-Mechanical Perpetual Motion " machines 
worked by combined ^'natural and artificial motors.** He 
commences (Problem I.) with one of Kircher*s models depen- 
dent "on the rarefaction and condensation of air arising from 
heat and cold." Problem II. is about "A fountain on the 
same movement," described both by Eobert Fludd and by 
Kircher. Problem HI. concerns Father Anthony Martin's 
invention described by Schott, consisting of two conjoined 
water-vessels, one to be inside, the other on the outside of a 
room window. Problem IV. gives a minute account of " The 
Archimedian magnetic sphere according to Kircher, described 
by himself and by Schott. Problem V. relates to Kircher's 
improvement on the foregoing " to secure by means of aerial 
currents a suf&cient supply of water for the wheels." Problem 
VI. is entitled " A rotatory horologe worked by condensation 
and rarefaction as auxiliary motors." He recommends that 
" This horologe, intended for perpetual motion, should be very 
small, so as to be worked witi little weight and a very short 
rope." He adds that it is also "a perfect thermometer." The 
remaining schemes in this portion of the first volume, as they 
owe their action to external aid, need not be more than barely 
alluded to; Problems VII., VIII., and IX. employ humidity ; 
X., XI., XII., and XIII., a barometer ; XIV., various natural 
motions combined ; XV., subterraneous exhalations ; XVI. and 
XVII., another by vapours ; and XVIII., various physico- 
mechanical movements. 

De Lanis spares neither himself nor his readers, but enters 
into verbose details and discussions, suggesting doubts in 
some instances, and raising hopes in others. The present 
summary, however, will suffice to satisfy every intelligent 
reader that any light to be derived from his discourse is but 
as darkness visible. 

D. DE Staib,* in the fifth of a series of disquisitions 

* D. de Stair, Phyeiologia nova experimen talis in qua generales 
notiones Aristotelis, &c. 4to. Lugduni Batavorum, 1G86. 


*0n Gravity and Levity/ inquires "Why the perpetual 
motion or circle of gravities, searched with so much diligence, 
has not been obtained." On this subject he observes : — 

If by any artifice water could be made to ascend above its 
spring, or ascend higher than it had descended, then the per- 
petual motion or circuit would be obtained, which has been 
investigated with so much industry and would be of so much 
utility, but which nobody has yet found. It has been tried 
by many to join to the ascending side the concourse of some 
other power which was not in the descending side, considering 
that, if the water by itself could impel the water upwards to 
an equal altitude, and if an external power, likewise impelling 
upwards, were joined to it as an auxiliary, the water would 
necessarily be raised higher than by the water alone ; or that if 
the motion of globules or the stroke of hammers would concur 
with the descending side and not with the ascending one, or 
if projection or elasticity would concur with the ascending 
side and not with the descending one. K the true cause of 
gravity were intrinsic to the water, this would indeed neces- 
sarily follow, as, however, the cause of gravity comes from 
without, viz. from the circulation of the aBther, whatever 
auxiliary be added to the descending or ascending part, im- 
pedes as much the effect of the circulation of the aether, so 
that it depresses so much less : as much as there is auxiliary 
power, so mucl, is the motiok itself impeded. The most 
probable mode of effecting the artificial perpetual motion 
would be, if a wide lead cistern were filled with water, whence 
a lead conduit would lead, first descending and then ascend- 
ing into another similar cistern, for then the water in both 
cisterns would be at the same height, and if from the second 
cistern numerous narrow pipes would ascend, for, as is known, 
in such narrow pipes the water ascends above the surface of 
the cistern-water; if then the water, issuing from those 
narrow pipes, would fall into a wider conduit which should 
lead down again into the first cistern, then, as the water flows 
from the first cistern through the first conduit into the second 
cistern, so does the water return from the second cistern 
through the second conduit into the first cistern in a perpe- 
tual circulation. The reason why the water in narrow pipes 
thus ascends will be explained subsequently, Explor. 12, 
Sec. 55. The water ascending in such narrow pipes cannot. 

58 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

however, ascend to the top of the pipes or issue thence, for 
the reason given in the same place. 

There is in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, a MS. treatise on 
* Watch and Clock Work.* By " John Cabtb, English watch- 
maker, now (1708) living in Hamburg, at the Dial and Crown, 
against the Exchange in Hamburgh, who is Geographical 
Clock Maker to the Zar of Moscovi, and can make all sorts of 
astronomical clocks or watches." Commencing at Chapteb 38, 
he observes :• — 

To bring time and strength together or to a balance, several 
have endeavoured to effect it in order to find out the perpetual 
motion. Besides which several other methods have been used 
for this purpose, insomuch that hardly any good workman but 
has made some essays for this discovery, yet all have mis- 
carried for want of a true knowledge where strength is got, 
and where it is lost, nor duly considering what a perpetual 
motion is. 

Upon this subject I have observed that those who have en- 
tertained uncommon notions about it, have been very reserved 
and discovered a jealousy of letting any others know the hypo- 
thesis they build upon, whereby, as I have said, they have all 
miscarried, for want of a true knowledge where strength is 
got and where it is lost, which is the mathematical rule they 
should build upon, ^d now I shall presume to give my 
thoughts of the subject, giving an account of an attempt I 
made myself to find it out. But, to describe what a perpetual 
motion, so called, is : 

And first negatively it is not a piece of work proposed that 
will endure for ever, for there is nothing in time that can be 
eternal ; but positively it is no more than such a piece of 
work that moves of itself, without being wound up, and will 
go so long as the work continues good, and not cease moving 
till the work being worn out, a cessation is forced. The proper 
denomination of such a piece of work is a Self-mover, and not 
a Perpetual Motion. 

Chapteb 39. I come now to speak of the experiment I made 

in order to find out the Perpetual Motion, or rather Self-mover. 

To effect this I projected by a trick in watchwork to bring 

time and strength to a poise with one another. The piece of 

work had a very long and heavy pendulum, of about 100 pounds 


weight. This work was so contrived that an ounce or two 
weight set the work on going, and by a consequence made the 
heavy swing to vibrate. When in vibration, I held a quarter 
of a pound weight in a string, so that the vibration of the 
heavy bob might hit against it to try whether it would make 
the great bob stand still, but when the bob hit the quarter 
pound weight, I then with satisfaction perceived I had dis- 
covered the secret. I then proceeded to consider how to make 
the vibration of the great pendulum to wind up the one ounce 
weight, when it was almost down, which accordingly I brought 
to bear after this manner : When the one ounce weight was 
down and the vibration was then on the other side of the 
work, the bob would wind it up again, but when the ounce 
weight was down and the bob had beat his beat and was on 
that side where the weight was, it lost its strength before it 
came back again, so that it would not then wind it up, whereby 
it appeared how one may be deceived in an undertaking of this 
nature, it being justly feared that this invention will never be 
fully discovered. 

However, I am of opinion it might be performed by giving 
a screw a motion, made after the manner of Archimedes* screw, 
which should be elevated by a mathematical rule to such pro- 
portion as the screw is in thickness, or the few or many twists 
it makes. But this I shall leave to the consideration of those 
who are skilled in the mathematical rules of proportion, being 
of opinion that the proportion of strength which is to be 
gained by Archimedes' screw was never yet thoroughly^ex- 

An edition of the complete works of John Bebnoulli,M.D.,* 
Professor of Mathematics, appeared in 1742, in which there is 
a ' Dissertation on Effervescence and Fermentation,' with an 
Appendix, " Concerning Artificial Perpetual Motion,"*!" as 
follows : — 

Scarcely had I finished this dissertation, when, attentively 

* Johannis Bernoulli, M.D., Matheseos Professoris Opera Omnia, 
tarn antea sparsim edita, quam hactenus inedita. Quae ab Anno 1690 
ad Annum 1713 prodierunt. Ro. 4to. Lausannse and Genevse. 1742. 
Vol. I., pages 41-44. 

t See • Per. Mob./ First Series, 1861, Appendix H, page 532, for 
this memoir in Latin. 

60 PERPBTUUM mobile; 

considering the nature of precipitation and secretion, briefly 
explained in the last pages, there accidentally occurred to me 
a mode of constructing, by means of some continually flowing 
liquid, the much-talked of and long-desired Perpetual Artificial 
Motion ; and this as a completion to my work, on account of 
the affinity of the subject, I now propose for the consideration 
of the learned. 

No one need be told how eagerly for a length of time this 
same Perpetual Motion has been sought after by the most 
celebrated men, how ardently desired ; what indeed have they 
not contrived? to what expense have they not gone? how 
many machines have they not constructed ? but all in vain. 

The secret desire of this Perpetual Motion still perplexes 
and torments many, and excites their minds to such a degree 
that we see the ears and minds of learned men carried away 
^y i*> yot many philosophers reject the idea, unanimously 
asserting that Perpetual Motion cannot be communicated and 
cannot be invented ; which opinion is nevertheless not of any 
weight, seeing^ that they rashly judge that no one should be 
listened to who boasts of having found out such a thing ; and 
their reasons (as I confess) do not suffice to convince me ; for 
I do not hesitate to assert not only that Perpetual Motion may 
be discovered, but that it has now actually been discovered, as 
will be confessed by any one who reads these lines ; and what 
is this labour to many ? does not Nature herself (who is never 
said not to operate by mechanical laws) indicate Perpetual 
Motion to be possible ? to recall but one instance, what is the 
constant flux and reflux of the rivers and seas but Perpetual 
Motion ? Does it not all belong to Mechanics ? therefore, you 
must confess that it does not exceed the limits of mechanical 
laws, and is not impossible ; what then hinders that following 
Nature in this, we should be able perfectly to imitate her ? as 
indeed I shall so conclude, by declaring to thee the possibi- 
lity of Perpetual Motion and the manner of obtaining it ; and 
lest thou come to an adverse conclusion, or regard it as a 
Titanic enterprise, I pray that thou mayest first well weigh 
the thing, or, if it so please thee, put its truth to the test of 

First of all the following must be premised (Table 1, 
Fig. 8) :- 

I. If there are two fluids of different density, the weights 

3 L to D; the flnide b 


of which respectively are in the ratio G to L ; the altitudes 
of cylinders of equal weight, and having the same base, will 
be in the ratio L to Q. 

[. Therefore, if the s 
tained in the vessel A D be b 
fluid contained in an open tube, 
placed will remain at rest. 

m. Therefore, ifACtoEFbeina greater ratio than 
L to 6, the fluid in the tube 
will ascend; or if the tube be 
not BufQciently long, the fluid 
will escape by the orifice E. 
(These are proved by Hydro- 
statics.) 1 

IV. It is possible to have 
two fluids of different gravity, 
which are capable of being 
mixed one with the other. 

y. It is possible to have a 
filter, strainer, or other sepa- 
rator, by means of which the q J 
lighter fluid may be separated 
from the heavier. 


These being pre-snpposed, I construct Perpetual Motion in 
the following manner : — 

Let two fluids of different gravity and capable of mixing 
together (which is possible by Hyp. i) be taken in any quan- 
tities, in equal quantities, if desired ; let the ratios of their 
gravities be first determined, which suppose as G to L, the 
heavier to the lighter ; and being mixed, let a vessel, A D, be 
filled to A. 

This having been done, let a tube be taken, open at both 
endsEF; andof such alength that AC : EF>2X ; G-f-L; 
and the orifice F stopped, or rather filled with a filter or some 
substance separating the lighter fluid from the heavier (as is 
possible also by Hyp. 5); when the tube filled in this manner 
with fluid is immersed to the bottom of the vessel C D ; I 
say that the fluid will continually ascend by the orifice of 
the tube F, and by the orifice E will fall into the fluid 

C L 

62 PERPETUUM mobile; 


Because the orifice of the tube F is occupied by a filter (by 
Constr.) which separates the lighter fluid from the heavier ; 
it follows, that if the tube be immersed to the bottom of the 
vessel, the fluid lighter by itself, which is mixed with the 
heavier fluid, must ascend in the tube, and as it will ascend 
above the surface of the surrounding fluid as A C : E F = 
2L:G + L: which is (by Const.) A C :EF>2L :G + L, 
it necessarily follows (by Hyp. 3) that the lighter liquid, 
through the orifice E, will faU in the vessel below ; there it 
again mixes with the heavier (by Hyp. 4) ; and then, pene- 
trating the filter, ascends again into the tube, and escapes by 
the upper orifice. So, therefore, the flow is continued per- 
petually. — Q. E. D. 


Hence a reason may easily be given, why water from the 
depths of the ocean, ascending into the summits of the moun- 
tains, bursts from them in the form of rivers, and flows again 
into the ocean ; so does Nature offer to us the spectacle of 
perpetual motion. 

Hence I say, they do not well explain who allege that the 
water ascends to these heights through the pores of the earth, 
as a fluid ascends in narrow tubes above the surface of the 
fluid surrounding ; for if such were the explanation of the 
thing, they would never be able to demonstrate it ; for the 
water so raised to a height from the bosom of the earth, falls 
again, whereas we see that the fluid in these narrow tubes, 
although slightly elevated above the surrounding surface, 
never issues from their orifices and falls into the fluid below. 
The following is then the more feasible explanation. It is 
known that water in which much salt is held in solution is 
heavier than fresh water; now sea-water, as is sufficiently 
evident from the taste, contains many saline particles ; con- 
sequently it is heavier than spring or river water ; so that it 
is credible that the earth acts like a filter through the pores 
of which only fresh water can pass, the saline particles being 
left behind, and this increases the weight of the water ; the 
firesh water must ascend much higher on account of the im- 
mense profundity of the ocean, as it is forced to the highest 
peaks of the mountains by the presence of the sea-water ; and 
thence, not being able to ascend any higher, it falls in rivers. 


There is in the Library of the Eoyal Society a copy of the 
scarce pamphlet, entitled * An essay for a Machine of Per- 
petual Motion. By Mr. Eobebt Stewabt,* Minister of the 
Gospel, Edinburgh, Printed by James Watson in Craig's 
Closs, 1709.' It is a small quarto, consisting of one leaf for 
title-page, one leaf with 2 pages of Dedication to John Earl 
of Braedalbin; while the Essay itself, paged 1 to 82, has 
also one folding copper-plate representing the 4 circular dia- 
grams hereafter given. 

In his dedication the author, addressing John Earl of 
Braedalbin, says : — 

Gratitude obliges me to dedicate this small Essay to your 
Lordship as its patron ; which, if your Lordship had not 
countenanced, it might have unluckily perished: whereas 
now it seems to defy all its adversaries, and appeals to one 
of the most learned Societies in the world, the Royal Society 
of London; whose examination, if it sustain so irresistibly, 
as it has done that of others here, it may be happily prose- 
cuted, as it was by your Lordship designed. 

Proceeding to the Essay itself, we find its author com- 
mencing with the following statement : — 

After the experience of so many years' thinking, and as 
frequent conference with the leam'd men in tlus nation 
skilled in such matters, as my occasions did offer me con- 
verse with, concerning an overture for a machine,j' so oft 
attempted by societies, as well as private persons of the best 
sense, both at home and abroad, tho' never yet finished, com- 
monly called the Pbbpetuum Mobile : I have at length, 
leaning to God's assistance, adventured to make my design 
known, to the end, this notional embrio, which with so much 
thought I have in private conceived, may, by public encourage- 
ment, happily be advanced to these [those?] degrees of perfec- 
tion it shall be found capable of, if there be any life in it. 

He admits : — 

I know some may be alarm'd, why this Lifeless Essay 
should be exposed to public view, ridicule, and censure by 

* See 'Per. Mob.,' First Series, 1861, page 501, when Stewart's 
workliad not been seen. 

t It was a common belief at that period that the Government had 
actually offered a large pecuniary reward. — D, 

64 PEBPETTJUM mobile; 

sticli a daring method, when as a little expenses and pains 
in private, might have effectuate all that the public is able 
to do in such a case, which must always remit such designs 
to the care and industry of private persons, pretending them« 
selves fit for them. 

These considerations lead him to state his several reasons 
for having recourse to publication ; among other remarks he 
notices : — 

Since I observed that none hitherto prosecutes this over- 
ture with that freedom they use in all other projects, I ad- 
venture to clear the stage of all scruples that hitherto have 
molested my self, and all have gone before me, by asserting 
boldly and openly (tho' modestly) that such a machine is 
in my judgment not only possible but practicable, which I 
hope my Prohleme will sufficiently vindicate. 

And further, he adds : — 

The stand I find Mathematicians at, in Demonstrating the 
Negative, determined me to try this method, being greatly 
encouraged by this, that none ever before me durst present 
his overtures to be examined, or abide the fiery trial, as I 
have done, and that this method puts me in capacity of doing 
what can be done, with the fewest inconveniences and greatest 

In concluding his six several reasons for thus publishing 
his views, he observes : — 

I am not a little surpriz'd with the opposition this Design 
meets with from learned men, among whom I find some of 
the Boyal Society at London, whose judgment is valued by 
me as the judgment of the whole, and by being so, equiva- 
lent to the opinion of the leam'd world, of whom I cannot 
but reckon such a fraternity one of the noblest swatches, 
whose advantages and advancements in learning are so far 
above any, I or any private person can pretend to ; that to 
oppose is terrible, to appeal will be reckoned presumption. 

He goes on to say : — 

For my rashness in making any motion like to a seeming 
opposition to a member of that learned society, and appeal to 
the whole, I give these reasons. 

These in brief are 1st, The weakness of his nature ; 2nd, 
'Meeting with no opposition that has any weight in it ; and 
3rd, By men of sense and honour having encouraged him to 


proceed. And all he desires is a full examination, and only 
to be " repelled demonstratively." Adding — 

For the Machine would be of such uses. Mills, Coal-works, 
dividing of Time, Clocks, Watches, finding out the Longi- 
tudes, that I am fully persuaded that Noble Society will not 
disdain to do me justice in the terms of my appeal; for which 
ends I follow this Method. By a Perjpetuum Mobile, is meant 
a machine, which may move Durante Materia : And according 
to my judgment, it must consist of three propositions. 
1st Proposition, A weight always going down, never going lower. 
Of this proposition I have no nearer simile without the 
scheme, than as if a Globe suspended in the open air, keep- 
ing always the same centre, should move with propensity 
towards one side continually : As several orbs do, which I 
demonstrate by a scheme, and illustrate by a curious model 
of timber, made at the charges of the Noble Earl of Braed- 
albine, who [whose] name should be made known to the 
learned world for his readiness to encourage arts and sciences. 
The 2nd Proposition, is a Balance by which an equal weight 
overcomes an equal weight, the velocity being equal on both 
sides of the common centre ; this balance is not of common 
form, and therefore to be described. The 3rd Proposition, 
is as clear an idea of a Perpetuum Mobile upon the Fond of 
these two propositions granted, as two and three make five. 

He proceeds to say : — 

I find men of the best sense fly in the face of the second 
proposition, an equal weight overcomes an equal weight ; but 
tho* I mean equality of weights and velocities, I do not mean 
equality of powers ; which distinction is nicely to be remem- 

In closing his remarks, he alludes to : — 

Those gentlemen with whom I have conversed, because I 
neither find them frankly against me nor for me, but still 
suspending, smothering my proposals with silence, and re- 
ferring to the Boyal Society, from whom I boldly crave justice, 
since the appeal is equal on both sides. 

Arguing in favour of the possibility of perpetual motion, he 
enters at large on the second law, as he terms it, thus stated : — 

The changes made in the motions of human bodies, are 
always proportional to the impressed moving force, and are 
produced in the same direction with that of the moving force. 




FIC. I. 

Above 5 pages are occupied with his arguments on this 
matter, partly scientific, partly religious. At page 14, he 
gives this corollary : — 

There is nothing in a Perpetuum Mobile against the Laws 
of God and Nature ; but the one is the adequate cause, and 
the other a proportional effect. 

Eleven pages are occupied with a mixture of observations 
mathematical, mechanical, astronomical, and even theological, 
from which it is difficult to draw any clear conclusion of the 
author's views ; but at length, at page 25, he thus disentangles 
his own ideas on the subject : — 

1 divide the whole proposition into four figures (1 Figure) 
supposing an horizental circle 18 feet in diameter. A, B, C, D, 

fixed by a four-square frcwne, 
which needs not to be de- 
scribed, but supposed every 
way fitted for holding this 
wheel fixed in an horizontal 
position; this circle A,B, C, 
D, toothed about in the cir- 
cumference, with tooth stand- 
ing straight up at equal dis- 
tances and heights; in the 
centre of the circle 0, an 
axis erected perpendicularly, 
whose ends move in the 
zenith and nadir of the frame 
which holds the circle A, B, 
C, D, so fixed and horizontally situate. 

2 do. Suppose a ray of 12 foot, E, F, from whose broadside 
a ray is drawn at the distance of 3 foot from F, towards the 
right hand, when you hold the ray E, F, in your left, cutting 
the ray E, F, at right angles, extending itself to G, which is 
3 foot from the place of intersection, making up the side of 
a square, which is 3 foot equal to the other side, which comes 
from F, to the common point of intersection ; let this complex 
ray be perforate in the point of intersection, so as the axis, 
which for brevity's sake is represented by 0, may go through 
that bore, and the ray E, 0, F, E, 0, G, move pleasantly about 
the axis O, as one continued firm complex ray, and distance 
between O, and F, and 0, and G, being equal, making the two 


sides of a square, and the distance of F, from 0, and G, from O, 
being to the distance betwixt E, and 0, as one is to three. 

I suppose a wheel of 12 foot in diameter, H, I, J, K, toothed 
about in the circumference with tooth going through at right 
angles, at equal distances, like to the tooth of the former 
circle A, B, C, D, so as the greabiess of the tooth and the dis- 
tances shall be equal in both circles, and the tooth going 
through the wheel H, I, K, L, at right angles, shall appear by 
6 inches on every side. Take this wheel H, I, K, L, and per- 
forate the centre of it, and do the like to the brachium F, O, 
at F, get an axis, and fix one of the ends of it at the bore you 
have made at the point F, so as 12 inches may appear up- 
wards ; take this wheel H, I^ K, L, and hold it in an horizontal 
position, so as the centre of it may be in a perpendicular line 
with the point F, so as when you let it down, the Axis erected 
perpendicularly upon the point F, may pierce the centre of 
the wheel H, I, K, L, about which axis the circle H, I, K, L, may 
move pleasantly. Above the top of this axis arising from F, 
which goes through the centre of the wheel H, I, K, L, let 
there be a plate of iron indented, covering the middle of the 
wheel H, I, K, L, on the upper side, so as it may move about 
easily, and the tooth of the wheel H, I, K, L, on the lower side 
may indent and engage with the tooth of the wheel A, B, C, D, 
where the circumference of both wheels A, B, C, D, and 
H, I, K, L, shall happen to touch, take the ray E, 0, F, E, 0, G, 
at the point E, if you move it from C, to B, or C, to D, it is 
the same thing, the wheel H, I, K, L, will perform a double 
motion. Circular, Single, Progressive, Horizontal, of equal 
velocity, with the motion of the point E, because the curve 
horizontal lines are equal, which are described on both sides 
of the common centre and axis O, and the spaces they run 
through are equal, which is the same. 

So that let the opposition which I call the impediment, be 
apply'd to any tooth of the wheel H, I, K, L, you please to 
pitch on, and hold close by that tooth always, (supposing the 
tooth to be H, when it is in conjunction with A) and be equal 
to the moment which I call the first mover, communicating 
its impress on the point E, which may be two men of equal 
strength applying the same force in opposition to one another, 
when the point E is in a perpendicular line above C and H, 
in conjunction with A, in the same time that E, moves 

p 2 

68 PEfiPETuuM mobile; 

through as many points of the circumference A, B, C, D, as 
will be equal to all the points of the circumference H,I,K,L, 
the impediment whose motions begin at A, H, which points 
lie at an equal distance from the common centre and axis O, 
as E, and C, does, shall at once move about circumference 
H, I, K, L, about the centres F, and O ; and when this single 
circular motion of the wheel H, I, K, L, is finished in the same 
time the impediment, whose motion began at A, upon the cir- 
cumference of A, B, C, D, and at H, upon the circumference of 
H,I, K, L, shall be found resting upon the horizontal A, B, 
C, D, at as great a distance from A, as E, is from C, and so in 
infinitum, with this difference that E, is always of greater 
power than H, in different proportions of excess, the im^di- 
ment having least power at A, when H, is in conjunction with 
it, and most power at K, or whatever point of the wheel H, I, 
K, L, shall happen to be diametrically opposite to the point of 
contact, where the wheel H, I, K, L, touches the circumference 
A,B, C,D, in its circular progressive motion ; which point of 
greatest advantage to the impediment is K, in the first position, 
in which point and position, it doubles its power on the point F, 
whereas the moment only triples, and in the rest of the points 
the moment increases, and the impediment decreases propor- 
tionably to the distance of the impediment and its rectangular 
pressure from the centre to the progressive motion in its first or 
second positions ; so that the velocity of the moment and im- 
pediment are equal on both sides of the common centre and 
axis, and their powers unequal according to the fourth, fifth, 
and sixth propositions, which was to be demonstrated [but 
are here omitted], 


When the moment and impediment are equal, and their velo- 
cities equal, if their powers be unequal ; the motion follows : 

A degree of moment and velocity are not reciprocally equal 
since their powers may be unequal, though the moment and 
impediment and their velocities are equal, as in this case ; 
and yet motion follows because their powers are unequal. 

This proposition I reckon to be of the greatest certainty ; 
and if it be not repelled, I may say I have done something, 
laid a foundation, which others may improve better than I, 
and j)erhaps not ; but still I am willisg to receive assistance 



from any man that offers rationally for the improvements I 
have made on this Fond. 

(Fig. 2.) Suppose a wheel M, N, P, Q, six foot in diameter, 
toothed about circumference, with tooth indented like rays 
coming from the centre ; of the same greatness and distance 
from others, as the tooth of the rest of the circles A, B, C, D, 
H,I, K,L, place this wheel horizontally, so that the tooth 
Q, may indent with the tooth L, and the tooth N, may reach 
to the centre F, and the tooth P, lean upon the point G, 

Fl C. 2 

where it may have a small wheel with tooth divided about 
like a roller for facilitating its motion when the ray E, 0, P, 
E, 0, G, is moved by an impress made on E, this wheel 
M, N, P, Q, leaning on the points L, and G, is carried about, 
in a double motion about its own centre E : and 0, the com- 
mon centre, with the same force, as if the centre K, received 
its impress immediately from the point F, and P, which is of 
the same power with F, because at the point G, and L, where 
the impress is communicated to the circle M, N, P, Q, the 
impress is the same in L, Q, P, G, E, F, as if all these points 
were one with F, for they are of the same power, tho' not 
distance, according to the Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Propo- 
sitions [which are here omitted]. 

(Fig. 3.) Suppose a ray drawn from K, to 0, and continued 
from O, to the circumference A, B, C, D, to the point S, 
which is three foot from C, E, when you stand at E, C. This 
ray perforate at 0, so as the axis 0, may go through it plea- 



santly, about which axis 0, it may move about freely the two 
ends of the complex balance H, I, K, L, M, N, P, Q, E, 0, F, 
E, O, G, S, 0, K, being industriously turned about to one side 
of the common centre and axis O, these two rays S, 0, E, and 
E, 0, F, E, 0, G, being so situate, the points F, K, L, G, Q, P, 
a!nd their rays being equal in power, according to the second 
figure ; an equal impress made on the ray E, O, F, E, 0, G, at 
E, with a determination to the right hand, will prevail on an 
equal impress made on the ray S, 0, K, at S, with a deter- 
mination to the left ; because the impress made at E, com- 
municates its force in a triple proportion of power, which is 
communicated entire from F, and G, to A, H, from A, H, to 
L, Q, from G, to P, at the same time to K, and from K, to 0, 
from 0, to S, whereas the impress made at S, in its reaction or 
opposition, communicates only a double proportion, or near 
by, to the point K, which returns the same proportion to 
P, G, L, Q, to the points A, H, which returns it entire to the 
points F, G, which returns it the same to 0, and 0, to E, C, 
which proportions being unequal, the moment prevails over 
the impediment, notwithstanduag the velocities be the same, 
conform to the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh propositions 
[omitted], First, Second and Third Figures. 

(Fig. 4.) Suppose upon the ends of these two rays or 
brachiums E, 0, F, E, 0, G, and S, 0, E, two vertical wheels 

apply'd at the points E, and 
S, like cart wheels on their 
axes, cutting these rays at 
right angles, both of the 
verticals equal in diameter, 
viz, two foot and four inches 
toothed about in their cir- 
cumferences, like M, N, P, 
Q, whose centres are per- 
forate as the centres of H, I, 
K, L, and M, N, P, Q, E, the 
ends of the two rays E, O, 
F, E, 0, G, and S, 0, E, be- 
ing rounded and smoothed, 
so as they enter into the cen- 
tres of both the verticals T, V, X, Y, which is apply'd to 
the ray E, 0, F, E, 0, G, at E, and 1, 2, 3, 4, which is apply'd 


to the ray S, O, E, at S, about wliicli brachiums they may 
move pleasantly, being so raised above the horizontal circle 
A, B, C, D, that the tooth X, pleasantly indents with the 
tooth C, and the tooth 3, and the tooth 3, with the tooth 
S, upon the horizontal circles A, B, C, D, whatever impress 
is made on any of these verticals, except in the perpendicular 
lines T, X, and 1, 3, the rays E, 0, F, E, 0, G, and S, O, E, 
suffer that impress proportionally, conform to the Fourth, 
Fifth, and Sixth Propositions [omitted]. If the impress be 
made on the points Y, and 2, or 4, and W, then it is the 
same as if a preponderation progressive upon an horizontal 
line of direction were added to the points C, E, and S, S, 
for the centripetal force that's added to Y, will produce a 
circular progressive of this vertical T, W, X, Y, which com- 
municates its force entire from Y, to C, from C, to E, from 
E, to 0, from 0, to F, G, in a triple proportion from F, and 
G, to H, and A, L, Q, P, to E, wMch are points of the same 
power with F, and G, whereas the impress made at Q, com- 
municates its force entire to the points S, S, from the points 
S, S, to 0, from the point 0, to E, in a double proportion, or 
near by ; which double proportion of the impediment meet- 
ing with the triple proportion of the moment in the point 
E, F, G, P, L, Q, A, H, and these points being of the same 
power, the centripetal motion of the impress made on the 
point Y, is to the centripetal motion and impress made at 
Q, as a triple proportion is to a double, or three to two; 
which centripetal generating force produces a centrifugal 
greater than the generating force is, according to the Fourth, 
Fifth, Sixth and Seventh propositions [omitted], 1, 2, 3, 4, 

Suppose a globe 5, 6, 7, 8, of such a diameter as may reach 
betwixt the points Y, and 2, toothed about in its sBquator like 
the rest of the circles M, N, P, Q, T, V, X, Y, 1, 2, 3, 4, with 
two ledges like the lesser wheel of an ordinary Miln (Mill ?),, 
so as the tooth of it may indent easily with the tooth of the 
two verticals, and hold close by their edges in motion ; this 
globe being of that weight, or centripetal tendency, that the 
half of its force shall be able to make a sensible impression 
on the side of the vertical that lies next to the sides of itself, 
so placed besides the production of a motion in the wheels, 
since it is equally poised betwixt these two verticals T, V, 


X, Y, and 1, 2, 3, 4, and since the centrifugal pressure is 
greater at the point 2, then the centripetal is at Y, conse- 
quently this globe being equally poised of itself, must descend 
to the side where the centripetal is of most power, and meets 
with the least resistance : and ascend where it is of least power, 
and meets with greatest resistance ; which it cannot do without 
rolling about its own centre, and at once causing a circumrota- 
tion of the verticals about their centres and axis, which pro- 
duces a motion of the rays E, O, F, E, O, G, and S, O, K, which 
being unequal communicate to the points F, G, L, Q, P, in 
unequal proportions, in lines of infinite determination and 
direction ; this complex motion once begun, must always con- 
tinue while matter lasts ; because in all imaginable positions of 
its regular motion, the reasons of motion are the same, which 
in one knot of motion resembles all the motions in the universe, 
and that according to the Fourth, Sixth and Seventh Proposi- 
tions [omittedj, 1, 2, 3, 4, Figures. Quod erat demonstraridum. 
This much I have communicated freely relating to my 
design ; I confess I have industriously concealed all fine 
thoughts as I have discovered ; so as no man needs trouble 
himself with the experiment without them, tho' this may 
Ruf&ce for a demonstration. All which improvements are in 
the model, which I will freely unfold to any society that will 
generously encourage me, and demonstrate them as I have 
done the rest, whereby my design shall be made infinitely 
more easy ; in fine, rather than to conceal an useful thought 
of this importance if I have it, I have ordered the model so, 
that what I can do, may be done by a mechanical genius, by 
taking it down, considering the connection, especially the due 
proportions, and making another in fitter materials, fine brass 
and steel accordingly, I suppose, as well without me, as with 
me, an hundred years hence, for the model may last so long, 
and while it lasts, will serve for direction ; but if any man 
will allege the Natural Parent to be the best nurse of its own 
child ; I offer my service kindly : I have likewise another 
scheme in fluids, and a new Circular Pomp [Pimip] of great 
use ; which, since I have not abilities to finish I have in all 
humility addressed the Boyal Society at London, hoping to 
find them to be, what I believe they are, the greatest en- 
couragers of all Arts and Sciences; I would not use this 
freedom if I suspected my thoughts might be repelled with- 


out a trial ; and it is impossible for me to justify myself in 
absence, as if I were present ; I hope (he concludes) no man 
will take advantage of a letter or a word ; if any oppose me, 
let him shun logomachy, idle jests, banters, or malicious satires 
and general arguments ; for the same degree of seK-denial 
which disposed me to make this appeal and address, shall 
prevail with me for ever to yield to men of better judgment. 

^ Explicatio CaussB Moventis Naturalism mobili perpetuo,' 
is the title of an essay among Birch's M8S., in the British 
Museum, No. 421, written on a sheet of letter paper, endorsed 
" De anima perpetui mobilis :'* — 

By the natural moving cause I understand a continuous 
motion, caused by nature, which can consequently move and 
turn anything without any intermission. Such natural moving 
cause must be so transmittible and continuous, as to be appli- 
cable to all things and all places ; it must acquire by itself 
incorruptibility and perpetual circtdation without intermis- 
sion ; it must, although dependent on nature by the elements, 
be administered by art, wil3i the aid of nature, and applicable 
to the mechanical mobile which, by such application of the 
natural continual moving cause could be put into continual 
action, and by such perpetual action of the perpetual moving 
cause would constitute the perpetuum mobile. In this de- 
fmition of the natural moving cause it is to be observed that 
such moving cause does not come from accidental motion, 
but originates from incessant and incorruptible perpetual 
motion. Hence all such moving causes must be rightly re- 
jected that cannot put a mobile into such action that it do 
operate with incessant motion, all that are not applicable in 
all places; all that stand still in equilibrium. It will be 
seen, then, that my natural moving cause does not consist in 
anything corruptible or not applicable in all places or of too 
subtile a movement, but that it is a movement everywhere 
applicable, incorruptible, and powerful. Hence we omit all 
thermoscopes, the movement of which is not so much subtile 
as uncertain. We omit all aerial movements, as their move- 
ment is not continuous. Nor do we retain those motions 
which are effected by rarefaction or attenuation from heat or 
cold, as they may stand still when in equilibrium. Nor do 
we refer to anything that is not everywhere applicable, or 
obtainable, or accomadable to the greatest weights; nor, 

74 PKRPETTJUM mobile; 

finally, do we require anything that is contradictory to the 
established laws of physics. What we refer to is a motion, 
by the cessation of which all the world wotdd be brought to 
a standstill. Having premised these general remarks, we 
will now proceed to more special inquiry. I will therefore 
state that my natural continual moving cause is a fluid spirit, 
generated at certain times by its own movement from the 
stars, the nutriment of all things, enclosed in my mechanical 
mobile, with a continuous motion of its own, and apt and ap- 
plicable, through equilibrium, by means of gravity and hang- 
ing weights, to perpetually attract the mobile, wluch natural 
moving cause, as it, with successive and perpetual motion, is 
generated and distilled from the stars for the generation of 
things, and by its mechanical application to my mechanical 
mobile, and its weights attached is continually appropriated ; 
thus the weights, without a mechanical moving cause, by 
virtue of the constant revolution and application of this natu- 
ral moving cause, can never arrive at their centre or stand 
still. As, however, the weight, moved from its centre, can- 
not come to a standstill, so certainly can that natural moving 
cause, generated from the stars for the sustenance of all 
things, not cease before the corruption of all things. If the 
former argument were removed, that weights by their natural 
motions hold to the centre, all the world would be confounded, 
the whole globe would fall to pieces; and, if the natural 
moving cause should stop, all nature would be consumed and 
its end be decreed. As both these things cannot be, the 
truth. of the conclusion appears certain, excepting all that 
ought to be excepted, viz, that, given a perpetual subject- 
matter, and no accidental impediment intervening, this me- 
chanical mobile, with its natural perpetually moving cause, 
cannot stand still nor rest at its centre. He who wants to 
become more nearly acquainted with the special foundations 
of this my natural moving cause, let him consider the nutri- 
ment of all vegetables, let him apply this according to the 
teaching, as set forth in our next disquisition, and he will 
thus have the desired truth, and contemplate that fluid spirit, 
enclosed in the work, as did Archimedes, whose moving cause 
or spirit, raised to fame perpetual, as the stars, has also to 
this artifice, as to many other useful things, as yet unknown, 
administered continual services. This is that natural moving 



cause which art applies to its use. And thus this artifice has 
as well an artificial body ae a natmal bodI, whence it may be 
called a perpetuiim mobile phyBico-artificial ; for it is worked 
with the aid of nature and by means of art; art without 
nature can produce nothing pei^ect. 

There ie also among Birch's MSS. in the British Musenm, 
No. 4432, a Folio Volume lettered " Papers relating to the 
Boyal Society." Paper 32 being — 

An Essay towards finding the Longitude. By Geo. Cun- 
HiHOHAU. Ireland, August, 1729. 

From what hath been before observed of the height water 
may be raised, — 

[The nature of the Ban»neter and the return of the water 
of a fountain to its source, — 
he says :] 

From these hints it was that I 
first thought it possible there 
might be a Perpetual Motion 
found, which might be made 
the first mover in a portable 

[He then explains that he 
shall not go into precise de~ 
tails and measurements — ] 
such as workmen should fol- ^ 
low in making the engine. 
Intending no more here than 
the endeavouring to satisfy 
some others, as well as my- 
self, that there reaJly is such 
a thing to be fonnd as that 
long sought for Perpetual 
Motion, which is looked upon 
by every one to be the true 
parent of the Longitude. — 
Desa-iptum of the Ferpeiwd 

A, a cup nearly full of 

B, the height the mercury will rise by its own weight in — 
K, the main pipe, when — 

76 PEKPBTUUM mobile; 

C, the lower cock is open. 

E, a hollow globe, which must be capable of a greater quan- 

tity than the whole pipe K. 

F, the upper cock by which the mercury is filled into the 

engine and about 27 inches higher than the line B. 

D, the middle cock, which when open lets the mercury fall 
upon the buckets of the wheel — 

G, and then passing down — 

I, a funnel which contracts itself at 

L, into a pipe which directs the mercury into the cup A. 

H, a case which entirely covers the wheel (being of the same 

metal, and of a piece with the pipe), through which the 

axis of the wheel passes, to set another wheel a going ; 

so becom [ing] the principle mover in the clock or engine 

to be contrived. 

The manner of setting it to work. 

Stop the cock at C, and fill mercury into the cup A, higher 
than the line B; then stop the cock at D, and turn in mercury 
at the cock F, till K, and E, are full ; stop the cock at F, very 
close, open C, first, and then D, out of which the mercury will 
fall upon the buckets of the wheel G, down the funnel I, L, 
into the cup A, and be pressed up K, by the weight of the air, 
as in the barometer. 

Among Birch's MSS. in the British Museum, No. 4436, folio 

319, lettered " Papers Eelating to the Koyal Society," is the 

original letter, neatly written on a folio sheet, as follows : — 

To the Koyal Society. About Six Yeers since I was, by an 
partictdar Occurrance, animated, to undertake a very usefull 
contriving about the Principles of natural Motion ; and as I 
am a Mathimatical Instrument Maker, by Profession, I set my- 
self about a Machine, which turns constantly round its Axis, 
without winding up, or doing any Thing to it : Because to 
give it its perpetual Motion, I followed Natural Principles, 
which may be demonstrated. 

I have, with great Assiduity and Labour, gone so far, as to 
obtain the true Intent, and to shew that this Motion, so as it is 
represented in the Machine has been in Nature, ever since 
the Creation of the World, and that nothing can be added or 
deemed. I can give the Eeasons why it could not be found 


before, and shew what great Lnproyement it will afford in 
Art and Sciences. 

I have been this Six Yeers at my own Expences, and my 
Cash being exhausted, so that I am not able to get it to Per- 
fection without some Assistance, and can not accept the Offers 
of some Friends, which desire to have the Secret manifested 
to them : but I am willing, when required, to lay it before the 
Eoyal Society, as a Work which deserves Their taking Notice 
of, humbly Begging their kind Assistance, to bring it to its 
full Perfection, and remain 

most obliged Servant 


(No date — but associated with 
MSS.— dated 1739-40.) 

Another of Birch's MSS. in the British Museum, page 615, 
a Folio Volume lettered " Papers Eelating to the Koyal So- 
ciety. Mus. Brit. Bibl. Birch.— 440. CXL. B.," in which at 
page 615 appears the following letter : — 

To the Members of the Academy and Koyal Society of 


Gentlemen, — After manifold researches pursued for more 
than twenty years, and repeated experiments, I have at length 
succeeded to discover that the perpetuum mobile is not a mere 
matter of theory, nor an impossible thing, as one has had every 
reason to believe hitherto. 

The problem is to find a machine so constructed that, once 
in motion, it remains in it for ever, until the material of which 
it is made is worn out or its structure becomes damaged. The 
construction of this machine requires accordingly that its 
movement be aided by nothing external or foreign to it, but 
that it do contain within itself the causes of its movement, and 
that the movement do continue as .long as the machine lasts. 
If metals could be found suf&ciently hard not to be affected by 
friction, such a machine should go for ever. 

That one which I have found, Gentlemen, fulfils these con- 
ditions exactly, and is so constructed as to continue going 
without interruption, as soon as it has received the first start, 
which it must take by itself, when the last pieces are put 

78 PBBPETUUM mobile; 

in, as I shall have the honour to shew clearly in time and 
place. The only question remaining at present is, Gentle- 
men, to inform me of the reward attached to this invention 
and of the guarantee you could give me for it ; for I do not 
intend to give the demonstration and the plan of it, until I am 
ensured of not being frustrated as to the honour of the inven- 
tion and of the recompense attached to it, dreading much the 
«c V08 mm vchis of Virgil. You may rest assured. Gentlemen, 
that you are the first parties whom I have made acquainted of 
this machine, whence I rely upon receiving such a reward for 
it, as will indemnify me for the exertions and expenses which 
I have had to und^go, in order to arrive at it. 

I request you, Gentlemen, to signify to me the means I 
should adopt to transmit you the machine. I am not able to 
make the voyage, and I am resolved rather to take it with me to 
the other world than to lose its fruit by indiscreet publication. 

My address is Mr. Duboin, Mathematician, Eue de la 
Cigogne, Mans, province of Maine, France. I am, &c. 


Mans, July 26, 1764. 

In 1766, Chbistian Eknest Neumann* published at Lubeck 
an account of his machine for Perpetual Motion, in a quarto 
pamphlet of 20 pages, with a neat copper-plate engraving, of 
which the annexed cut is an exact copy. 

Fig. 1 represents a lever A, B, having at its centre C, the 
two projections a,h, to which are secured the two weights 
D, E, by means of small rods, at equal distances from C, 
which are to be fastened to the lever A, B, so that the extreme 
points of the rods shall be moveable in the fixed points F, and 
G, witn D, below, and E, above. 

Fig. 2. Suppose the cylinder a, a, to be the weight, move- 
able on a wire 6, as an axis, then bend the wire at b, h, and 
afterwards at d, d, at right angles, one of which must be left 
twice as long as c, c. 

Fig. 3. A wheel consisting of two circular sides H, Z, 
K, N, about one foot diameter, accurately centred at C, from 

♦ C. E. Neumann. Plan zur Erfindung und Verfertigung derjenigen 
Maschine, welche in der Mechanik das Perpetuum Mobile genannt 
wird. 4to. Lubeck. 1767. 


which point draw the circle, a, a, a, and divide it into 16, or 
any other number of equal parta. Those pointB of division 

at a, are intended for the insertion of pegs or pins and suit- 
able weights. The arm b, coneiata of a small metal bar, 

80 PEBPBTUUM mobile; 

having at each end a nut and screw. In order to preserve 
the weights as well in the smaller as in the larger centre 
of motion, wire pins are inserted from the interior into the 
discs, at the points c, d. The discs may be kept equi-distant 
by fixing a light wooden cylinder on the metal axis at C. 
Then place between them the weights, with their two pins, 
into the holes 2, and screw, by means of the nuts, both discs 
securely in their axis. Thereon place all weights that are 
nearest C, or ascending, upon the pins d, and bend the pro- 
truding pins of the weights, at a little distance from the disc, 
at a, towards C ; and afterwards at A, away from the machine ; 
all at exact right angles, by which arrangement the weights 
can be turned round with very little force. The vertical frame 
of the machine, supporting these discs is marked e, e, e, in- 
serted in the plane or basement/,/,/, with its axle b, working 
in g. On that side where the cranked wires are attached the 
lever i, i, to the frame e, made of strong wire bent at one end 
into the form of a quadrant, so that the crank A, bent off from 
the machine must strike against it when the discs are rota- 
ting, causing the small lever {, to rise, and by such motion 
raising the weight, as in Fig. 1, to the greatest height. The 
efficiency of the side Z, K, N, and lightening of the side 
Z, H, N, can be obtained if the weights on the side Z, H, N, 
between the points Z, H, N, but still distant from the per- 
pendicular line Z, C, N (the weights being 6, 6, 7, 8, VIII.), 
are lifted as near as possible to the perpendicular line. For 
this purpose an inclined plane, K, must be placed at the 
foot of the frame in such a manner that by the motion of the 
machine the lowest weight VIII., will strike against it, and 
being moveable in its axis, will roll upwards on the inclined 
plane, or to the least distance of the perpendicular line. 

Then follow paragraphs variously headed — Doctrine, 
Proof, Experience, Mechanical law, Task, Solution, Addi- 
tions, Annotations, and (happily) Conclusion. 

In 1770, no less a person than James Febguson, the astro- 
nomer, devised a perpetual motion, as appears from his 
* Common Place Book' in the University Library, Edin- 
burgh, where we have examined it ; but the following par- 
ticulars, along with the engraving are, through the kindness 
and liberality of Dr. Henderson and his publishers, Messrs. 



FnUorton, supplied from the recenfly publiBhed excellent 
and eshftustive bit^raph; of that smgnlar genius,* wherein 
appears the followiag copy of the drawing and description 
from his ' Common Place Book.'| 

Debobiftion. — ' The Axle at A is placed horizontally, and 
the Spokes B, C, D, &c., turn in a vertical position. They 
are jointed at s, t, u, &c., as a common Sector is, and to each 

of them is fixed a Frame as B, 8, T, &c., in which the weights 
7, 8, 9, 1, 2, &a, have liberty to move. When any spoke as 
D, is in a horizontal position, the weight I in it falls down, 

• ' Life of Jamea Fetgtwon, F.K.S.,' by Ebenezer 
8»o. EdinburgI), 1867. 

i The origimil aketeb is marked, ' J. Fergnaon, I'nt 
A.I). 1770.' 

82 PBBFKTnuM mobile; 

and ptills the part h of the then vertical spoke B straight 
out, by means of a cord going over the pulleys K and k to the 
weight I. The spoke C c was pulled straight out before, when 
it was vertical, by means of the weight 2, belonging to the 
spoke E 6, which is in the horizontal position Dd; and so 
of all the others on the right hand. But when these spokes 
come about to the left hand, their weights 4, 5, 6 fall back, 
and cease pulling the parts/, g, h, i; so that the spokes then 
bend at their joints X, ^, z^ and the balls at their ends come 
nearer the centre A, all on the left side. Now, as the balls 
or weights at the right hand side are farther from the centre 
A than they are on the left, it might be supposed that this 
machine would turn round perpetually. I have shown it to 
many who have declared it would ; and yet for all that, who- 
ever makes it, will find it to be only a mere Balance. I 
leave them to find out the reason.' 

An old note informs us that — ' between the years 1760 and 
1780, London abounded with Perpetual Motionnseekers and 
their pubHc Exhibitions.' Ferguson himself, a mechanician 
and inventor, would, no doubt, visit many of them, and would 
see ' schemes ingenious, curious, and specious.' He did not 
believe it possible to produce perpetual motion by any con- 
trivance which required the motive power to be within itself 
(all external agents, such as that of a never-fiiiling stream ; the 
ever-varying pressure of the atmosphere, &c., being ignored) ; 
yet, notwithstanding that, in 1770, he devised tlus plan for 
perpetual motion. In his ' Common Place Book,' we find a 
fine pen-and-ink drawing of his scheme, which he designates 
as ' the moat rational scheme^ but at the same time declares it 
to be ' downright nonsense* At the conclusion of it he writes, 
' Whoever maJces it mil find that it is a mere Balance ;' from 
this, it may be inferred that the machine was never made — 
never having had any other existence than that on paper. 

Dr. Henderson concludes these remarks of his by observ- 
ing : — ' To find out the reason' — or to show, why his machine 
would not continue in motion, nothing more is necessary than 
to draw a line from Z to Z (bisecting the centre) and then it 
will become evident that there are, and always would be, more 
weights below the line than above it. To have gained Per- 
petual Motion, the very reverse of this ought to have been 
the constant condition of the machine. 


M. Babbot du Plessis,* in an essay he published in 1783, 
concludes, at page 21, by observing : — 

I will leave it now to be considered if it be not more 
useful to be engaged in seeking perpetual mechanicietl motion 
than to declare affirmatively, and during succeeding centuries, 
that the discovery is impossible, and that it could be attempted 
only by persons not initiated in the science of the laws of 
motion ; the detractors of this endeavour are then besought to 
find it proper that I should not blush at having undertaken it, or 
even to have contrived several other machines of which none 
could be due to a simple slip of the imagination to a lucky 
chance, but are the fruit of many reflections; and which, under 
forms absolutely different from that of the machine proposed, 
would arrive at the same end, which will prove, if I really 
expose these latter, that even had it been required of me for 
the solution of the problem pretended to be insoluble, to its 
advantage; when even say I it had been required that, it 
should be reBolved in many different ways, a thing impos- 
sible would not have been required ; which will prove also 
that mechanism is not for ever to remain in this state of 
infancy or at least of sterility, which it appears projected by 
most men to eternise unanimously, that it was time in fact 
that it should be divested of its extravagancies and spread 
out its wings and take flight. 

In ' Memoranda of Mathematics and Physics of the Italian 
Society,* 1786,f occurs a memoir entitled * Analytical Ke- 
searches on various subjects by P. Gbegobio Fontana, Public 
Professor of the Higher Mathematics in the Royal and 
Imperial University of Pavia,' the second article of which, 
headed ' Examination of a New Argument in favour of Perpe- 
tual Motion,' proceeds to state that : — 

1. A vertical wheel (Fig. 2) divided in two halves by a 
vertical plane which passes through its diameter F O, has the 
haK F P O immersed in water under the level M N, and the 
other haK wholly out of the water, being cut off in F O by a 
peculiar mechanism from all communication with the reser- 
voir, the exterior half of the wheel being F Q O ; this turns 

♦ * Essai 8ur la possibility d*une Machine k oscillations croissantes.* 
Par M. Barbot du Plessis, Secretaire du Roi. 8vo. A Paris, 1783. 

t ' Memorie di Mathematica e Fisica della Societa Italiana.' Tomo 
m. 4to. Verona, 1786. 

G 2 


PEBPETUUl^I mobile; 

freely round on an axle passing through the centre C. Now 
the wheel being specifically lighter than the water, the im- 

FIG. 2. 

FIG. 3. 

mersed part F P comes with a continual rotation to the top 
with a force equal to the excess of the weight of a volume of 
water corresponding to the immersed portion, over the weight 
of the immersed portion ; which rotation passing through the 
centre of gravity of the exterior part, and consequently out 
of the centre C, obliges the wheel to turn around C. 

Such being the case, the question to be asked is whether 
the wheel has itseK a perpetual motion, as may be judged at 
first sight. 

2. To reply adequately, it is at first necessary to know 
what effect is produced on the wheel by the horizontal 
pressure which the water exercises on the semi-circumference 

Having taken for this purpose, a part "Pp, and having 
drawn to the diameter the ordinate P R, j? r, and marked the 
radius PC, and from it PG perpendicular to the radius C L, 
which determines the quadrant OL, the distance of the 
lowest point from the level of the water will be = b, the 
semi-diameter of the wheel = a, C R = ic, and the specific 
gravity of the water = 1 ; the perpendicular pressure against 
the part Pp = Pp.RD, which resolved in two, one hori- 


zontal PE, the other vertical PG, gives the proportion 

PG:PB::Pi?.RD: ^ -^ 

^' PG 

Thence the horizontal pressure against Pp, and = 

— * * -, that is to say Tp .PR = Rr . P G, the given 

horizontal pressure is found tobe = Rr.RD = (h -- x)dx, 
and which, multiplied by R D, giving h — x, becomes the 
momentum of the pressure relatively to M N = (h — xf dx, 
and the sum of the momenta of pressure exercised upon the 

indefinite arc, O P = /(h — a?)* cTo; = — - (6 — «)'-[- *^® s^^®* 
And since acting together such momenta equal x, there comes 

the side = ^h^; and as the already-given sum of the momenta 

= - (b' — (6 — xf) =h^x ^ha^-{--a^. Whence, taking x 

= 2 a, the sum of all the momenta of the horizontal pressure 
exercised on the whole semi-circumference L F of the wheel, 

will be = 2 6* a — 4 6 a* -f- Q <*'> ^^^ dividing that sum by 
the whole horizontal pressure, that is to say by f(h — x)dx = 

^ (6* — (6 — xf) = 5aj — -a^ = 2ha-~2a\ gives a; = 2 a, 
^ 2 

we have the formtda 

262_46a+|a» h^^2ha.+ ^a^ (h-af+la^ 

O o o 

26a— 2 a* h — a * 6-a 


h — a-j- 


6 — a 

which represents the distance of the level MN from the 
result of ail the horizontal pressure against the circumference, 
which distance exceeds D 0, and consequently the direction 
of the result passes from below the centre of the wheel to a 


distance frx)m the said centre, which is = 


b — a 

86 PEBPBTUUM mobile; 

If tliis distance be multiplied by the result of all the hori- 
zontal pressure, that is, by 2 a . (b — a) ; there is obtained 


- a^ for the momentum of the force which tends to make the 

wheel revolve from L towards O. This being established, 

it is known that the force which causes the half of the 

wheel F L G to revolve vertically to the top (calling g the 

specific gravity of the wheel) is = (1 — ^) F C L, and which 

force passes through the centre of gravity of FLO. And 

consequently the gravity of any circular segment divided by 

the half of ihe radius, is distant from the centre of the circle 

by a quantity equal to the twelfth of the cube of the chord 

divided by the segment ; and therefore the centre of gravity 

of the semicircle FOOL, will be distant from the centre C 

^8a» §«» 

by the quantity ^^^ = ^T^ rt r\T ' Consequently the mo- 


mentum of this force tending to make the wheel revolve from 

2 3 

O towards L wiU be == —I— ^ 

Jbi o u li u 

But moreover a certain momentum will be derived from 
the other half F Q O of the wheel, which being out of the 
water, tends by its own weight downwards with a force = 
^.ECOQ = ^.ECOL, which multiplied by the distance 


-,pp^.p of the centre of gravity of the semi-circle F Q frx)m 

the centre of the wlieel gives as a momentum of force tending 

to turn the wheel from to L the quantity ^ g a\ Thus the 

whole momentum to make the wheel turn from to L, 

2 2 2. 

will be - (1 — g)a^ + Qgo^ = ^a^ that is to say the same 

o o o 

that is found to turn the wheel in the opposite direction, 
viz. from L to 0, and thence the wheel remains perfectly 

3. Cor. I, If the wheel were specifically heavier than the 
water, one would not be able to conceive in that case any 


motion &om L to O, as seemed probable in the former sup- 
position; Since, then, the momentum of the force, which 
turns vertically downwards the portion of the wheel F C O L, 

and tends to make it revolve from L to O is = - (^ — 1 ) a* 

to which momentum should be added a certain portion of the 


horizontal pressure, that is to say -, and thus is obtained the 



whole momentum - g a*, tending to cause the wheel to turn 


from L to O ; and to which momentum precisely, is equal 

such of the weight of the half F C O Q as tends to give to 

the wheel a contrary revolution, that is, from O to L. 

3. Cor. n. If the wheel in place of being a circular plane 
were a zone bounded by two concentric peripheries (Fig. 3), 
then from the sum of the horizontal pressure of the water 
against the exterior periphery should be taken the sum of the 
opposite horizontal pressure against the other interior semi- 
periphery of the zone. So calling a the greater radius of 
the zone, and A its breadth, the sum of the first horizontal 
pressure is = 2 a (6 — a) and the sum of the second = 2 
(a - A) r6 - A) - (a - A) = 2 (a - A) (6 - a). Then sub- 
tract the latter from the former and there remains 2 (6 — a) A 
for the sum of the whole pressure, which acts upon the zone 
(sic) of the half of the wheel immersed in the fluid in a direc- 
tion tending from the outside to the interior of the wheel. 

Moreover the sum of the momenta of all the horizontal 
pressure on the exterior circumference relatively to the level 

MNis = 26a-.46a + |a». 


.\nd similarly the sum of the momenta of the horizontal 
pressure opposite, on the interior semi-circumference, rela- 
tively to the given level is = 2 (6 — A)* — (a — A) — 4 


Subtracting this sum from the preceding, there remains, 

the sum of the momenta acting on the zone of the half-wheel 


from the exterior to the interior = 2 6'a — 46a'-|--a* — 2 



(6 _ x)«(a _ X) + 4 (6 - X) (a - X)» - I (o - A)' -26'A 

Q / 

-46aX+4a*A-2aX» + gA» = 2 A ^6(6 - a) - 6a + 

2a« - ax+ |a«) = 2x((h - a)(6 - a) +a« - aX + i A«^ 

Then dividing this sum of the momenta by the sum of the 
pressure there will be 

^ 2 A (6 - a) ^ ^ 

a« - a A + - A» 

J— the distance of the centre of the pressure 

from the level of the fluid, that is, to the distance of the 
result of all the pressure from that level. From this it is 
evident that the centre of pressure falls under the centre of 


the wheel, C, to the distance 

a« -aA + K^' 

h — a 
Whence multiplying this distance by the result of the 

pressure, or by 2 A (6 — a), we obtain 2Ara* — aA+qA*j 

to express the momentum of the horizontal pressure of the 
water, directed to make the wheel turn from L to O. 

Now the momentum with which the vertical impulse of the 
fluid tends to make the semi-circle F C L turn from to L 
(supposing the wheel not with a simple zone, but with a circular 

plane) is = - a^ Likewise the momentum of the impulse of 

the fluid to cause the internal semi-circle Y C I G from O to 

L is — - (a — a)*. Then taking this second momentum from 

the first, the momentum of the zone from the fluid V G 1 L F 
to give the wheel an impulse from O to L will be = 

- {a^ — (a — a)*) = 2 A f a* — a a4- q ^7 which is precisely 


the momentum with which the horizontal pressure of the 
fluid tends to impress on the wheel an impulse in the opposite 
direction, that is to say from L to 0. Consequently from 
the pressure of the fluid the wheel cannot haye any motion 
around its centre. 

The weight of the wheel itself, by which the half-zone 
immersed in the water tends to make the wheel turn from L 
to 0, and the half which is out of the water, to make it turn 
in the reyerse direction, such a weight, I say, cannot induce 
any motion of rotation, and both halves remain in equilibrium 
around the centre C. 





In * The Life, Times, and Scientific Labours of the second 
Marquis of Worcester,' 1865 (page 24), we have already 
remarked that, after the decease of his first wife in 1635, 
it is probable that he became more than eyer devoted to his 
favourite mechanical pursuits ; adding— 

It appears, indeed, pretty evident that, about that period 
he set up in the Tower his large wheel for exhibiting self- 
motive power, which the learned assume to be a mechanical 
fallacy, but which no one has yet proved to general compre- 
hension to be an impossibility. In a scientific point of view, 
but particularly in connection with the biography of this 
remarkable man, a subject of this nature cannot be lightly 
passed over ; it affects his reputation more than appears on 
the surface, as regards his veracity in respect to his other 
numerous inventions. 

It was a machine, consisting of a wheel fourteen feet in 
diameter, carrying forty weights of fiffcy pounds each, and is 
supposed to have rotated on an axle supported on two pillars, 
or upright frames. His Lordship has been very precise in 
describing all the circumstances under which it was shown. 
There were present Charles the First, accompanied by two 
extraordinary Ambassadors, the Duke of Bichmond, the Duke 
of Hamilton, with most of the Court ; also Sir William Bal- 
four,* who was at the time Lord-Lieutenant of the Tower. 
Now the latter circumstance would fix the date as not being 

* His appointment as Lord-Lieutenant of the Tower commenced in 
1680. See * WoBCESTEBiAKA.' 8?o. 1866. Page 254. 


later than 1641, while other facts make it reasonable to sup- 
pose that the experiment took place at least two or three 
years earlier. Up to 1638 Charles the First had reigned 
for ten years in comparative peace and leisure. May it not 
have been during this lull in the portending storm of public 
discontent that royalty deigned to inspect a singular piece 
of mechanism, supposed to move of itself, without any aid 
from external agency ? 

His Lordship has been charged with dealing in paradoxes ; 
and none greater than the one under consideration need be 
sought for. It relates to a problem which for 2000 years 
has not only perplexed mathematicians, but has likewise 
been a stumbling-block to many ingenious mechanicians 
during at least five or six centuries. What mathematicians 
fail to prove, in this instance, every modem philosopher de- 
mands, nevertheless, shall be stamped as an impossibility, as 
absurd as it is impossible. Now the dilemma is. How has 
the author of the * Century of Inventions ' fallen into the 
common, vulgar error of beUeving in the possibiHty of per- 
petual motion ; and not only so, but publicly exhibiting a 
machine pretending to that character ? 

We are not disposed to question either his Lordship's talent, 
or his candour, hence the difficulty of offering any simple, 
direct, satisfiEtctory reply to an inquiry which otherwise ap- 
pears to be an easily answered interrogative. Eminent 
writers of the seventeenth and previous centuries maintained 
that perpetual motion was possible; so that, however the 
modem scientific sceptic may blame his Lordship for want 
of skill, or worse, of veracity, his opinion was quite in ac- 
cordance with the estimation in which the subject was held 
in his day. But he goes a step farther, he speaks of a prac- 
tical result. Hence he leaves us no alternative but to de- 
clare that he propounds either a truth or a falsehood ; and 
if false, that he was either himself mistaken, or deceived by 
others. But either way it is difficult to arrive at a thoroughly 

92 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

satisfactory conclusion, even as to what his Lordship actually 
intended and performed in this instance, owing to the usual 
vagueness of his statements. 

It will be observed that he has worded the 66th article of 
the Century so vaguely as to favour its even being disputed 
whether he meant his scheme for a * perpetual motion.' 
And as to the real construction he devised, it is impossible 
to say which of the hundreds of methods of hanging weights 
would best represent his own particular method ; or what he 
means by 'diameter line,' whether vertical, or horizontal; 
or how he applies the terms ' centre,' and ' change of cen- 
tres ;' or whether the weights swung, or rolled, or had both 
actions ; and even the distinctions of a * foot nearer ' and a 
* foot farther ' are open to a variety of explanations. 

The original edition of the ' Century of Inventions ' ap- 
peared in 1663, during its author's lifetime; and being 
addressed in two dedications, first to Charles I., and second 
to Members of Parliament, it is probable that its issue was 
limited accordingly, being an appeal to them and not to the 
public at large. From 1746 to 1825 inclusive, eleven edi- 
tions have appeared, and another with a commentary is 
appended to *The Life, &c.' of the Marquis, 1865. In 
1825, C. F. Partington edited an edition, with notes, which 
affects to give the Century ' from the Original MS.,' no such 
manuscript being in existence ; however the greatest and most 
unpardonable fault consists in the editor's free employment 
of unauthorised corrections without comment; thus in the 
Article No. 56, Partington introduces no less than six new 
readings! The notes he claims to have added are chiefly 
derived verbatim from *The Gentleman's Mag.,' vol. 18, 
1789, but without acknowledgment. 

In the "Commentary" on the Century, at page 454, ap- 
pended to * The Life, &c.,' of the Marquis, we have stated 
that : — 

It is difficult to reooncile the statement his Lordship has 


made, with the declaraition on the title-page, of his inTen- 
tiona having been ' tried and perfected.' In this single 
inetance, he leaves the reader to ' Be pleased to judge the 

Dr. Deei^uliera, in a memoir published by the Boyal So- 
ciety, vol. 31, 1720-21, quoting the foregoing article, No. 66, 
in the Century, ventursB the reply : — ' Now the coneeqaence 
of this, and snch like machines [assunung them to be as 
therein described], is nothing less than a perpetual motion.' 
Of course he does not admit even the possibility of snch an 
arrangement of parts, he only allows that if that could be 
executed, the other would follow. But Deeaguliers admitted 
too much, for it may easily be demcmstrated that the con- 
ditions stated may be mechanically produced, yet without 
any resulting motion. Let the annexed diagram represent 
a wheel of 14 feet in diameter having 40 spokes, seven feet 

liding with the periphery, 

each, and with an 
at one foot distance, all 
round, and consequently 
of si: feet radius. Nest 
provide 40 balls or 
weights, hanging in the 
centre of cords or chains 
Iwo feet long. Now 
festen one end of such a 
cord or chain at the top 
of the centre spoke 0, 
and the other end of 
the cord to the nest right 
hand spoke at one foot be- 
low the upper end, or on the inner circle ; proceed in like 
manner with every other spoke in succession ; and it will be 
found that, at A, the cord will have the position shown out- 
side the wheel ; while at B, G, and D, each will take the 
respective poaitions shown outside opposite each. The resiilt 


in this case will be, that all the weights on the side A, C, D, 
hang to the great or outer circle ; while on the side B, C, D, 
all the weights are suspended from the lesser or inner circle. 
And if we reverse the motion of the wheel, turning it from 
the right hand to the left hand, we shall reverse these posi- 
tions also (the lower end of the cord being arranged to slide 
in a groove towards a left-hand spoke), but without the wheel 
having any tendency to move of itself. 

His notice of this exhibition was not written by the Marquis 
until 1655 (as recorded in the title-page of the Century)^ 
being from about fourteen to seventeen years after its occur- 
rence, and he may have hesitated at that period to say that it 
was not a success; and may even have persuaded himself 
that he was at last in possession of the secret that might 
have been at first found to be wanting. Besides, we are not 
to infer that the noble company described as being present, 
had gone to the Tower expressly to see the Marquis's wheel ; 
it being far more probable that Charles the First and the 
foreign ambassadors were there to view that fortress with 
all its treasures and curiosities. 

All the information we possess in respect to the Marquis 
of Worcester's wheel depends on his own unsupported and 
exceedingly vague statement, as already quoted from his 
' Century of Inventions.' But in respect to another wheel of* 
a similar character, invented by Jean Ernest Elie-Bessler 
Obfftreus,* we have not only numerous testimonials from 
eye-witnesses, but likewise a more reliable statement, given 
in a letter from Professor 's Gravesande, addressed to Sir 
Isaac Newton,"f whose inspection, however unwarranted under 
the circumstances, throws a veil of mystery over Orfiyreus' 
mechanical production. It could be brought to a stand-still, 

♦ The annexed portrait of Orflfyreus is from a small neatly-executed 
line engraving, by C. Fritzsch. He is here styled * The High Hessian 
Councillor of Commerce, Professor of Mathematics, and Inventor of 
Perpetual Motion.' 

t See * Per. Mob./ First Series, 1861, pages 39-42. 


or it could be made to move to the right or to the left hand 
side, ' after which it revolved for twenty-five or twenty-six 
times in a minute.' On this being reported to the inventor, 
he destroyed the entire fabric of his cunning work of in- 
genuity or imposture ; and throughout his future life he 
never appears to have returned to the subject, although he 
continued to engage himself with mechanical inventions. He 
died in 1745. 

A few further particulars respecting this eccentric person 
and his problematical machine are afforded in the Leipsic 
' Learned Transactions,' 4to, of the year 1717,* being * An 
Account of the Machine for Perpetual Motion, invented by 
John Ernest Elias Orffyreus,' as follows : — 

In * Transactions A,' 1715, amongst the new literary matter 
of the month of January, p. 46, mention is made of the Per- 
petual Motion Machine, invented by Orflfyry, exhibited to the 
curious in a certain village called Draschwitz, not fer from 
the town of Ciza. 

We find in this case, that a wheel, freely suspended on 
one axis, and impelled by no perceivable external motive 
power, revolved swiftly and continued to do so with an ex- 
tremely equable motion. There were not wanting some 
amongst those who saw it, who endeavoured to injure the 
ingenious inventor. A paper was distributed, asserting that 
the wheel was set in motion by a concealed artifice, viz, by a 
man seated in an adjoining chamber, and that the contrivance 
was hidden from the view of the spectators by an engraved 
brass plate. J. E. E. Orflfyry, in the mean time, went from 
the village of Draschwitz to the suburbs of Martisbury, and 
there constructed a Perpetual Motion Machine on a somewhat 
larger scale. The diameter was almost twelve feet, and the 
thickness one foot; the diameter of the axle-hole was six 
finger-breadths; but the thickness of the small iron axle 
was scarcely a fourth part of this, in order that the friction 
might be reduced as much as possible, and the motion not re- 
tarded by a weight of 70 lbs. which was raised by the machine. 
He thus silenced his detractors, not by words but by deeds. 

•"• * Acta Eruditorum,* anno 1717. 4to. LipsisB, 1718. Page 497. 


On the 31st October, in the presence of Commissioners whom 
he had requested from the Most Serene Duke of Saxony, 
Maurice William, to attend, viz. that truly high-minded man, 
celebrated in several writings, now publi^ed and received in 
these ' Transactions,' and skilled also in mathematics — Julius 
Bernhard of Bohr, assessor of the reigning Duke — ^the Ducal 
Secretary and other officials, eminent for birth, station, and 
the giffcs of dignity and erudition, of whom it may suffice to 
mention Wolff Dieterich, of Bohsen, Frederick Hoffinan, the 
celebrated physician. Christian Wolff and Menckenius, he 
transported the wheel from its place to another situation, 
where there were no walls contiguous to it, and where one 
might go freely round it on every side. Orfl^ry did not at- 
tempt to conceal that his machine was set in motion by 

He came again to see the machine, with some of his mi- 
nisters, on the 26th November; and the chamber, having 
been unsealed and opened, the machine appeared in motion 
as before. He then ordered the windows and doors to be 
again closed and sealed up ; and on the 4th January of the 
present year, the seals having been removed, which were 
acknowledged to be untampered with, he ordered the chamber 
to be looked into, and saw Orffjrry's wheel even then going 
round at its accustomed speed. 

The Prince, inclined as he was to mathematical science, 
and especially to mechanics, did not hesitate to attest this 
under his name and seal, and at the same time to pledge 
himself that the construction of the machine was not such 
that it required winding up. 

By this the hypothesis may be overturned that he was an 
impostor, as in ' Transactions A, 1717,' p. 92, we find the 
decision of Wolff on Orffyry's machine, from his Mathema- 
tical Lexicon. It is, indeed, read that Wolff looked upon it 
as perpetual motion by pure mechanics ; whereas it diould 
rather be read, ' not by pure mechanics.' For in his Lexicon 
he eloquently argues, that it has not yet been demonstrated 
that some external subtile fluid (whatever it may be) may 
not keep a machine in motion. 

Another source of information, of the same period, being a 
collection of matters relating to the literature and art affect- 



ing Nature and Medicine,* supplies the following further 
particulars : — 

On Orflfyreus* Perpetual Motion in Cassel. — This was not 
a physical perpetual motion, such as described by Becherus,t 
in his Narriche Weisaheit, part I., Art. 16, being a clock worked 
by rain water ; it was a machine to act solely by means of 
artful mechanical arrangements, independent of any external 

Much has been said and written on this subject, and many 
curious inventions projected, insomuch that the Emperor of 
Austria, in 1713, promised to give Herr Schluter, a celebrated 
engineer, 30,000 rubles if he could discover a true perpetual 
motion; but, owing to his decease, his son xmdertook the 
inquiry, but without success. 

Nevertheless, a celebrated practical mechanic and mathe- 
maticiaii, Herr Or%reus, in Saxony, in 1712, exhibited a com- 
plete machine, the result of many years' industry, demon- 
strating perpetual motion. The first model he made measured 
2^ Leipsic ells diameter, and 4 inches in thickness, able to 
raise some pounds weight. This he exhibited openly in 
several places to the nobility, scientific men, and the public. 
A great deal was said against him, abusing him as an im- 
postor, many declaring the machine would not succeed on a 
larger scale. On this he removed from Gera to Draschwitz, 
where, in 1713, he finished a machine measuring 5 ells high 
and 6 inches in thickness, having a speed of 50 turns in a 
minute, and would raise a weight of 40 lbs. This he openly 
showed to all classes of visitors. 

Eemoving to Merseburg, where he constructed a third and 
still larger machine, 6 Leipsic ells high and 1 foot thick. It 
was specially exhibited to an appointed commission of learned 
men, who gave their testimony in its favour, as not being 
moved by any outward agent. It could be put in motion by 
the small power of the fingers, acquired speed, and required 
some considerable exertion to stop it. He was, however, beset 
by scandal and abuse, although the machine continued work- 
ing ; until, on the 31st October, 1715, he had another public 
experiment in the presence of several noblemen, eminent 

♦ * Sammlung von Natiir-und Medicin Wie auch hierzu behorigen 
Kunst-und Literatur-Geschichten.' 4to. Breslau, 1719-20. 
t Already noticed at page 26. 

98 PEBPETTJUM mobile; 

professors, and others. All these witnesses of its operation 
signed a testimonial, stating that they considered it a true 
perpetual motion, having the property to move right and left, 
easily moved, but requiring great effort to stay its movement ; 
with the power of raising or lowering a box of stones weigh- 
ing 70 lbs., 8 ells high perpendicularly, from the window to 
the roof, and thence to the court below. And that they had 
not discovered any hidden means by which this property was 
attained. With this and two other testimonials Orffyreus was 
presented, 4 December, 1715. 

When the foregoing advertisement of the Orflfyrian wheel 
was before the public, Andbeas Gartneb, a model maker, in 
Dresden, in 1715, made a wager with J. F. Dinglingebn, for 
200 rix-dollars, that he would make a machine showing per- 
petual motion, moved only by its own inward power. At the 
same time Dinglingem undertook a like work, which hap- . 
pened at the time of the great talk about Orffyreus' wheel. 
In 1716, C. Stbinbbuok brought out a work satirizing Orflfy- 
reus' invention, and thereby greatly aiding Gartner in his 
spleen against him, making him an offer of 1000 thalers if he 
could show that his wheel would go for four weeks, or raise 
the 70 lbs., and each minute make 50 turns, as he professed. 
Another opponent, C. Wagneb, a mathematician in Leipsic, 
published a tract, showing that all Orffyreus* experiments on 
perpetual motion were against the laws of nature, and impos- 
sible ; and that he himself could show a machine in copper 
that would go right and left, raise 70 lbs., and in every 
respect represent the Merseburg one, worked by hidden 
machinery, and which he offered to exhibit. Another writer, 
J. G. BoBLAGH, in 1716, in Leipsic, published a treatise to 
show perpetual motion in its true light, proving that in the 
course of nature no such motion can exist. It may thus be 
seen that Orffyreus had many open as well as secret enemies ; 
but his discovery, nevertheless, met with the favour of Jacob 
Ani)beas Mahk, a watchmaker, who had himself worked at 
the elementary part of perpetual motion for more than twenty 
years, and from him Orflfyreus learned the art of watchmaking. 

Orffyreus r^noved from Merseburg to Cassel, where he 
was made a town eouncillor, and began at Weissenstein, near 
Cassel, to construct his improved machine. He published, in 
November, 1717, a tract called *News of the curious and 


wonderfol trial of the Orflfyrian Wheel at the Castle of 
Weissenstein, near Cassel, which has been from November, 
1717 to 1718 — eight weeks in all, shut up in an apartment, 
and sealed by the Landgrave in his Castle ; and which on 
being opened satisfied him of the truth of perpetual motion ; 
and 10,000 rix-dollars were offered to any one executing a 
similar work. The diameter of this wheel was 12 feet, and 
one i foot thicker (than the Merseburg machine^ the axle was 
6 feet long and 8 inches thick ; the frame of solid oak, and on 
each side has a pendulum fixed, which equally regulates the 
movement. It raises a very heavy box full of stones by means 
of a pulley ; without any visible outward means of effecting 
the motion. This invention is considered a true perpetual 
motion, as attested by the Landgrave in his Certificate dated 
27th May, 1718, and it is believed to be a self-turning wheel, 
that will work so long as the materials last. The Landgrave 
considered it might be put to several practical purposes, as 
for mills, raising water, &c. 

After the foregoing particulars. Article Vli., page 1260, 
there follows a statement: — About Hebb Gabtnbb's new 
Invention of a Pebpetual Motion. In the foregoing 
articles we have shown Herr Andbeas Gabtneb, the Court 
Model-master of the King of Poland, as one of the greatest 
opposers of the Orff^rrean invention. In the next he appears 
as a discoverer himself, showing by his works and writings 
his belief in the possibility of perpetual motion. The King 
of Poland gave him an order to make a machine demonstrate 
ing this subject, and in which he engaged himself in good 
earnest. He first finished a machine in which a ball was 
seen to run up and down on a wheel, and thereby raising 
weights. The second machine he made with seventeen balls, 
which on their descent, were made to reascend by a spiral 
arrangement for that purpose. These machines were so 
light as to be easily moved from place to place. They 
appeared to resemble one described in the ' Sejour de Pwis,' 
c. 19, p. 146, as follows : — ' At the fair in Paris a perpetual 
motion was exhibited, made of steel wire, having one bell 
which ran round, and on reaching the groxmd it fell on a 
spring which caused it to rise and so to continue its motion.' 
Herr Gartner's two machines were tried in the Castle, shut 
up in a room, for one year. 

H 2 


He finished a third machine this month. It was formed 
like a grind-stone. It went roimd of itself by some inward 
power, right or left, and slow or quick. It required immense 
strength to stop it. This machine was also publicly exhibited 
at the Castle, and what is most wonderful to be remarked in 
this machine is that when the inventor brought other of his 
contrivances of wheels, <fcc., into proximity with the grind- 
stone—even a few hundred paces off from it— they were made 
to turn immediately, by means of the stone, and made to raise 
great weights, some even larger than the stone itseK. 

This reads very absurd, but the Journal proceeds to 
state : — 

The King, his ministers, architects, and mechanics of the 
country brought the inventor and his machine into great 
notice ; and His Majesty the King of Poland on his departure 
granted him a special licence or patent for the protection of his 
invention ; but with all this Gartner remained convinced that 
no perpetual motion had ever been made by man's hand, and 
was ready to lay any wager to that effect. His Majesty inquired 
of Herr Gartner whether he could enlarge this last machine, 
to which he replied that he most assuredly could enlarge and 
strengthen it, as well as make it very different in appearance. 
But attention was generally called to his ultimate remarks, 
viz, that no perpetual motion had hitherto been made by the 
hand of man, of which he was so certain, that he made con- 
siderable wagers on that subject. 

In the same work for January, 1719, Article IV., page 118, 
is an account of — 

A NEW Perpetual Motion. Scarcely had we got over 
our astonishment at Or%reus' perpetual motion, described in 
Article VII., May, 1718, when an unknown Master of Arts 
appeared from the Hague, whose demonstrations on the sub- 
ject were generally doubted, because this species of invention 
was not rightly understood. Singular enough there is re- 
ported from the Hague as follows : — * A certain German has 
arrived here who declares he has found out perpetual motion ; 
but the government is so opposed to any such phantasies, 
and so tired of affording protection to such persons, he will 
have great difficulty to interest anyone, much less the govem- 
ment, to report on his invention.' 


In June, 1719, Article III., page 749, is a further account 

A NEW Perpetual Motion. We have spoken already about 
the controversy between Herr Gartner and others against the 
Orffyrean perpetual motion, and how the machines made by 
Gartner resembled a perpetual motion, and they were artfully 
enough arranged, but yet contained no true perpetual motion. 
In the Dresden papers of 26th June, 1719, is recorded a 
challenge between these two, in which Gartner offers 200 
rix-doUars as a wager in reference to any machine going four 
weeks' time, should any one produce a true perpetual motion. 
Gartner had already &tiished for himself ten different models, 
among which were sundry revolving but exposing no visible 
agent by which they could be actuated. He made also an 
eleventh, a wheel that raised a weight of 70 lbs., which he 
advertised for exhibition. 

We shall proceed to review as briefly as possible the quarto 
pamphlet which Orffyreus published in October, 1719.* It 
has two title-pages, one facing the other, the first, in German, 
being ' Das Triumphirende Perpetuum Mobile Or%reanum ; ' 
the second, in Latin, ' Triumphans Perpetuum Mobile Orflfy- 
reanimi,' and both with a motto from the 12th chapter and 
8th verse of Tobit : ' The counsels and secrets of kings and 
princes man ought to be silent upon, but God's works man 
should openly praise.' The paging commences on the third 

♦ There is in the library of the Patent Office a presentation copy of 
this singular pamphlet, irom which we are enabled to annex the 
author's autograph. He writes in German at the commencement: — 
* This tract is presented to the library of his worthy friend, Herr 
Pastor Endemann, of Garlodorff, as a slight souvenir from the author.' 

The Patent Office Library also possesses an earlier edition of the 
pamphlet, consisting of only 32 pages, 4to. Leipsic, 1715. 


leaf, 1 to 168, beyond which are two leaves containing four 
unmarked pages of Dutch and German laudatory poetical 
productions. The title-pages may be translated : — ' The 
Triumphant Orflfyrean Perpetuum Mobile, dedicated in hum- 
ble submission to all Ambassadors, High Heads, and Magis- 
trates, and all ranks of the world. Presented for purchase 
and an offer projected by the Inventor Orffyreus. Printed in 
Cassel, October, 1719, and published by the inventor him- 
self; bound copies to be had of him at the Castle of Weissen- 

He commences: — It is a notorious fact that Perpetual 
Motion has not only been sought after by ingenious mathe- 
maticians and artists with more or less expense, but many 
have arisen here and there pretending that they have made 
the discovery. Nevertheless, it appears that to carry out this 
most subtle mechanical idea, namely, to make a dead material 
not only move itself, but Uft weighte and perform work, even 
the most profound mathematicians and the most learned people 
have continuaUy fallen into error. It is no less notorious 
that those who have so sought, not only refuse their consent, 
but have set their seal on the discovery as an unsolvable 

Passing to page 10, he proceeds : — 

When I, at last, an unworthy man, was made an instru- 
ment in God's hands to solve this long-looked-for and valu- 
able secret, and to give a representation, proposition, and 
instruction on this rare invention ; also to publish and pro- 
pound it to all the world, no longer do I doubt, nay I 
presume, that as the discoverer I possess it, affcer many years 
of scrupulous doubts, much calumny, and exasperation from 
all my enemies. 

He speaks of his opponents under four divisions : — First, 
the scientific world; second, persons in high authority; third, 
the pubHc in general ; and fourth, the press ;— observing— 

Now my wish was to convince the world that this illiberal, 
rude, and inhuman treatment was fSeilse, yet God's providence 
has brought to my help, protection, and succour the mighty 
Prince Lord Charles, Landgrave of Hesse ; 

Whom he abundantly praises, and then adds : — 


It has not only pleased this mighty Prince to protect me 
against my numerous enemies, but also to give me houscrroom 
in his princely Castle of Weissenstein, near Cassel ; to name 
me one of his most honoured servants, and restore me in a 
measure all the honour and means that I .had lost in my 
native coimtry : wishing no doubt to give to Hessin Cassel the 
high honour which belonged to Saxony by right. In gratitude 
for all these gracious acts, I consented to give another 
example of my Perpetuum Mobile machine. I put all in fresh 
order, and began work in all possible haste, doing everything 
in the manner of those I had already made and destroyed, 
wilih only a few changes in ike dimei^ions of the BO-na^ed 
turning-wheel. For as a grindstone may be called a wheel, 
so may the principal part of my machine be named. The 
outward part of this wheel is drawn over or covered with 
waxed linen, in the form of a drum. This cylindrical basis 
was 12 Ehenish feet in diameter, the thickness from 15 to 
18 inches, the middle axle 6 feet long and 8 inches in thick- 
ness. It is supported in its movement on two pointed steel 
balance-pegs, each 1 inch thick ; and the wheel is vertically 
suspended. The movement is modified by two pendulums, as 
shown in the engraving at the end of this book. The inward 
structure of the wheel is of a nature according to the 
laws of mechanical perpetual motion, so arranged that by 
disposed weights once in rotation they gain force from their 
own swinging, and must continue their movement as long as 
their structure does not lose its position and arrangement. 
Unlike all other automata, such as clocks, or springs, or other 
hanging weights which require winding up or whose duration 
depends on the chain which attaches them, on the contrary 
these weights are the essential parts and constitute perpetuum 
mobile itself; as from them is received the imiversal move- 
ment which they must exercise so long as they remain out of 
the centre of gravity; and when they come to be placed 
together, and so arranged one against another that they can 
never obtain equilibrium, or the punctum quietus which they 
unceasingly seek in their wonderous speedy flight, one or other 
of them must apply its weight vertically to the axis, which in 
its turn will also move. * 

He then proceeds to enumerate the uses to which the in- 
vention can be applied, — as raising weights, raising stampers. 

104 PBEPBTUU3I mobile; 

water, &c. ; concluding with the Certificate of the Landgrave 
of Hesse Cassel, dated 27th May, 1718, attesting the two 
months* trial of the machine. He ridicules all opponents to 
his statements and exhibitions as cunning rogues and fools, 
whose only endeavour is to overthrow an incontestable fact I 

After this tirade, there are four dedications — the first, To 
God ; the second, To the Public in General ; the third. To 
men of learning ; and the fourth. To himself as the discoverer : 
the whole occupying from page 45 to 106. In the latter 
dedication he lays down a plan of treating with him for the 
purchase of the invention, estimated at the value of 100,000 
rix-thalers, and argues on its great importance to the public. 

All we can gather further in reference to the Orflfyrean ma- 
chine depends on the annexed facsimiles of the original wood- 
cut and the descriptive account attached to it as follows : — 

Number 1 shows the entire size of the wheel ; 2, a cord 
wound round the principal axle ; 3, the wheel or pulley to 
guide the cord ; 4, the cord passed through a window and 
over 5, another pulley ; 6, the box of stones raised or lowered; 
7, the lock to prevent motion ; 8, the pendulum with three 
weights ; 9, a winch-handle acting on the pendulum ; and 
10, shows above and below transparent, so that the machine 
stands clear and can be moved about. 

We have already seen, page 98, that distinguished indi- 
viduals bore testimony to the property that Orflfyreus' wheel 
possessed of being moved, and continuing its motion, either 
to the right or to the left hand side of the observer. Also, 
at page 99, that there was on each side a pendulinn. 

The fact of using pendulums to regulate the motion has 
never been hitherto noticed in any English translation, or 
account of Orflfyreus* wheel. This is the more remarkable 
as an omission, when occurring in even such a description as 
that given by Professor 's Gravesande to Sir Isaac Newton, 
already published in * Per. Mob.,* First Series, page 39. 

Dr. William Kbnrtck, noticed in the second chapter of 
the Pirst Series of the present work, demands our attention 


less for any ability on his own part, than for materials lie has 
collected in reference to Orffyreus.* Forsterf says of him 
that he had been in the habit of ' writing from his hiding- 
place the most piteous petitions (to Grarrick) for charity that 
one human being ever addressed to another.' Garrick was 
obliged to bring an action against him for libel, which, how- 
ever was ' dropped upon ample apology.' He farther states 
that — ' Scoundrel as he was, it need not be denied that he had 
some cleverness. Johnson hit it off exactly when he de- 
scribed it as a faculty that made him public, without making 
him known. Kenrick used to lecture at 'The Devil' and 
other taverns, on every conceivable subject from Shakspeare 
to the perpetual motion, which he thought he had discovered ; 
having been before he got his Scotch doctorship and became 
Grifith's hack, a scale or rule maker.' 

He died in 1779, and was buried the 13th June, at St. 
Luke's, the parish church of Chelsea. LysonJ says of him 
that — ' He appears to have been deeply engaged in mecha- 
nical pursuits ; and on the 19th May, previous to his death, 
he waited on the Attorney-General with a petition for a patent 
for the exclusive benefit of the discovery of a mechanical 
principle of self-motion.' § 

In 1770, Dr. Kenrick published a quarto pamphlet of 
28 pages, entitled — 'An account of the Automaton, con- 
structed by Orflfyreus : in two letters ; the one from Professor 
'sGravesande to Sir Isaac Newton; the other from Baron 
Fischer to Dr. Desaguliers. To which is annexed the testi- 
monial of the Prince of Hesse Cassell, in favour of Orffyreus' 

* John Nicholls, Esq., has a copy of Orffyreus' pamphlet, published 
at Cassel, October, 1719, a small thin quarto volume, bound in vellum, 
on the back of the first title-page of which is written: — *Dr. W. 
Kenrick— bought at a Sale in Cavendish Square, 1773, for 2/. 138. Qd, 
N.B. The same book first purchased by him at Leipzig, in Germany, 
for five guilders in the year 1758, and lost on his return to England.' 

t * The Life and Times of Oliver Goldsmith,' by John Forster. 8vo. 
1855. Page 315. 

X * Lyson's Environs of London,' vol. ii., 4to. 1795. Page 141. 

§ * The Gentleman's Magazine,' 8vo. 1779. Page 269. 

108 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

Machine ; likewise animadversions by Professor Allaman, of 
Leyden, on the neglect of that singular invention; with 
additional remarks on its utility, reconstruction, and im- 

The author adopts the following lines from Milton's 'Para- 
dise Lost ' for his motto : — 

Th' inyention all admir'd, and each how he 

To be th* inventor miss'd ; so easy it seem'd 

Onoe found, which yet unfound most would have thought 


By means of this publication Kenrick sought to promote 
the introduction of an invention of his own, for which he 
purposed securing a patent, but was disappointed in obtain- 
ing sufficient subscribers. He observes that experiments he 
had made, * even so long since as the year 1761, convinced 
him so far of the reality of Orfiyreus' discovery, that he 
applied for letters patent to secure an exclusive right to the 
construction of a similar machine, which he had contrived 
and denominated A Botator '* (p. 24). 

He commenced in 1771 the publication of * A Lecture on 
the Perpetual Motion,'! in quarto, of which only the first 
and second parts appeared. On the fourth page of the pre- 
fatory Address there is an advertisement, stating that 'Such 
readers of the following Lecture as have not been auditors, 
and may be desirous of seeing the experiments exhibited in 
its recital, will, on sending their address to the author, or the 
publisher, be famished gratia with tickets of admission for 
that purpose. The Plates will be delivered with the third 
and last part of the Lecture.' 

From this announcement we gather that this lecture was 
repeated, and at the third delivery, if it ever took place, the 
third and concluding part of the printed report of it would 
be issued with explanatory 'plates.' 

* See *Per. Mob./ First Series, 1861, page 48, note; and page 178. 
t Ibid., pages 54-9. 


Some copies of these two lectures have an advertisement 
on page 50, of the first part, to the effect that its author will 
read ' An introduction to a new system of Natural Philoso- 
phy,* the whole *To be comprised in a course of six lec- 
tures;' and it is added — 'It is proposed to subscribe the 
whole, illustrated with the necessary copper-plates, at the 
price of one guinea.* 

In the first series of 'Perpetuum Mobile,* Chapter XTE., 
allusion is made to Dr. Kenrick's account of the Auto- 
maton,* constructed by Orffyreus, as a work we had not then 
been able to consult, but having since met with a copy, the 
following particulars are extracted : — 

Orffyreus, a native of Saxony, was one of those singular 
geniuses whose natural talents for particular arts are accom- 
panied by a strange perversity of imderstanding. He had an 
amazing turn for practical mechanics, and appHed himself to 
the discovery of a perpetual motion — a discovery as much 
exploded among the mathematicians as that of the philo- 
sopher's stone among chymists. Orff^eus, however, after 
labouring about twenty years, and constructing near 300 
different machines, at length hit on the contrivance of that 
which is described in the following letters. 

Dr. Kenrick then gives in French the letter of Professor 

's Gravesande to Sir Isaac Newton, of which a translation 

has already appeared, and he concludes, remarking : — 

The letter from Baron Fischer to Dr4 Desaguliers, which 
is mentioned in the preceding epistle, serves not only to con- 
firm the foregoing particulars, but contains several others 
omitted by Professor 's Gravesande. It is indeed written, as 
Mr. Allaman justly observes, in very bad French, but is suffi- 
ciently intelligible, and carries with it a proof of the author's 
being a competent judge of the subject on which he writes. 

A French copy then follows, accompanied with animadver- 
sions by Professor Allaman. Dr. Kenrick next proceeds to 

* * An Account of the Automaton, constructed by Orffyreus, with 
nHditional remarks on its utility, &c.,' by Dr. William Kenrick. 4to. 

110 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

offer his own observations, declaring himself the inventor of 
a like machine, in Bemarka on the utility^ reconstruction, and 
improvement of the before-mentioned machine. He remarks : — 

'The author of the preceding animadversions, though toler- 
ably impartial in stating the fact, seems to lean, in his 
conclusion, more safely than logically, to the side of popular 

Dr. Kenrick, who was a very violent critic in the examina- 
tion of literary productions, seems himself to have been 
keenly sensible of ridicule, for he states that this subject has 
been so inveighed against by * the impotent efforts of igno- 
rance and ineptitude,' that it was for this reason the author of 
those remarks conceived it necessary to shelter himself under 
the preceding authorities, in order to obtain a more patient 
hearing than his subject otherwise promised. 

Speaking of the discouragements encountered by inventors 
generaUy, but Orffyreus' invention in particular, he observes : 
' The neglect of it, therefore, though not unaccountable, was 
surprising, especiaUy as he demanded only a conditional re- 
compense. This Dr. *s Gravesande himself particularly observes 
in a printed tract preserved by Professor Musschenbrock.' 

Of the extract given in French, the following is a trans- 
lation: — 

Babon Fisoheb to Dr. Dbsaguliebs. 

I do myself the honour of writing the present letter to 
mark my esteem for you, and also to give you news of the 
Perpetual Motion at Cassel ,which has been so much recom- 
mended to me since I have been in London. Although I am 
very incredulous about things which I do not understand, 
yet I must assure you that I am quite persuaded that there 
exists no reason why this machine should not have the name 
of Perpetual Motion given to it ; and I have good reasons to 
believe that it is one, according to the experiments which I 
have been allowed to make by permission of his Serene 
Highness, who is the most amiable and gracious of princes 
that I have known in my life ; and who had the patience to be 


prefient at the trials whicli I made durmg two hours. It is a 
wheel which is 12 feet in diameter, covered with an oil-cloth. 
At every turn of the wheel can be heard about eight weights, 
which fall gently on the side on which the wheel turns. 
This wheel turns with astonishing rapidity, making twenty- 
six turns in a minute, when the ale works free. Ha^ tied 
a cord to the axle, to turn an Archimedian screw to raise 
water, the wheel then made twenty turns in a minute. This 
I noted several times by my watch, and I always found the 
same regularity. I then stopped the wheel with much diffi- 
culty, holding on the circumference of the wheel with both 
hands. An attempt to stop it suddenly would raise a man 
from the ground. ^ Having^ stopped it L this manner, it re- 
mained stationary (and here, Sir, is the greatest proof of a 
Perpetual Motion), I conmienced the movements very gently 
to see if it would of itself regain its former rapidity, which I 
doubted, believing, as they had said in London, that it only 
preserved for a long time the impetus of the impulse first 
commimicated. But to my great astonishment I observed 
that the rapidity of the wheel augmented little by little imtil 
it had made two turns, and then it regained its former speed, 
until I observed by my watch that it made the same twenty- 
six turns a minute as before, when acting freely ; and twenty 
turns when it was attached to the screw to raise the water. 
This experiment. Sir, showing the rapidity of the wheel aug- 
mented from the very slow movement that I gave it, to an ex- 
traordinary rapid one, convinces me more than ^f I had only 
seen the wheel moving a whole year, which would not have 
persuaded me that it was perpetual motion, because it might 
have diminished little by little until it ceased altogether; 
but to gain speed instead of losing it, and to increase that 
speed to a certain degree in spite of the resistance of the air 
and the friction of the axles, I do not see how any one can 
doubt the truth of this action. I also turned it in a contrary 
course, when the wheel produced the same effect. I examined 
well the axles of this wheel to see if there was any hidden 
artifice ; but I was imable to see anything more than the two 
jsmall axles on which the wheel was suspended by the centre. 
His Highness, who possesses all the qualities of a great 
Prince, must have made this reflection in favour of the in- 
ventor, not to employ this machine in any way for fear of the 

112 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

secret being discovered before the inventor had received a 
recompense from foreign coimtries. His Highness, who is a 
'perfect mathematician, assured me that the machine is so 
simple that a carpenter's boy could understand and make it 
affcer having seen the interior. I said to His Highness that 
I had no doubt a company might be formed in London to 
purchase the secret. The Prince would be exceedingly happy 
if such a company would consign into his or other hajids 
20,0002. in favour of the Inventor, then the machine should 
be examined and the secret communicated. If the movement 
were foimd to be a perpetual one, the 20,000Z. would be given 
to the inventor ; and, if not, the money would be returned. 
This would be stipulated by proper legal documents. ' I told 
His Serene Highness that no one could institute such a com- 
pany better than yourself, for you are always working for the 
instruction of the public. Consider under what obligation 
you would place the most enlightened nation of Europe, if 
you procur^ for it the knowledge of the principle of this 
perpetual motion, as by that means you would discover an 
infinity of beautiful inventions which are now unknown. As 
I shall not long remain here, I must beg of you to corre- 
spond with Mr. Eoman, superintendant of His Highness' 
buildings. He will show all your letters to the Prince, and 
will come to an understanding with you touching this matter, 
which merits well your highest consideration, as it is not 
well to leave this treasure buried. Will you also communi- 
cate with your friend, Mr. Newton, and tell him my opinion 
of the movement. I hope that you will soon hear from our 
friend, M. 's Gravesande, of Leide, who is soon expected here 
by His Highness. M. Boman has written to tell him so. 

I remain, yours, &c.* 

Then follow * Animadversions, by Professor AUaman, on 
the neglect of Orffyreus* invention.' — 

We see that the testimony of M. 's Gravesande was as 
advantageous as possible to Orfifyreus, not having seen the 
interior of the machine, he could form no other judgment ; 
however, that extraordiuary man was not contented, for in 

♦ Dr. Kenrick, after giving this letter in the original French, adds in 
ft note,—* Baron Fischer was architect to the Emperor, and first intro- 
duced into Germany the steam-engine for raising water.' 


consequence of the examination Orffyreus broke the machine 
into pieces. By the accounts of M. 's Gravesande, Baron 
Fischer, and the testimony of the Landgrave it appears clear 
that the wheel was not moved by any exterior agent. Orffy- 
reus is, however, accused of being an impostor, of having 
imposed on the good faith of the Prince, deceived M. *s Grave- 
sande and all those who examined his machine. His own 
servant deposed against him and said, that she was made to 
turn the wheel, and thus he has Mien into contempt ; and 
everyone who protected him, is ashamed of him. M. de 
Crousaz who was at that time at the court of Cassel writes 
a letter to M. 's Gravesande dated 3 February 1729, in these 
terms : — * First, Orflfyreus is a fool ; Second, It is impossible 
that a fool can have discovered what such a number of clever 
people have searched for without success ; Third, I do not 
believe in impossibilities; Fourth, One can easily imagine 
that persons keep a secret from which they are to receive 
benefit, but this fellow hoping only to receive reputation 
allows it to be tarnished by an accusation which he has in 
his power to disprove, if false ; Fifth, The servant who ran 
away from his house, for fear of being strangled, has in her 
possession, in writing, the terrible oath that Orffyreus made 
her swear: Sixth, He only had to have asked, in order to 
have had this girl imprisoned, until he had time to finish his 
machine ; Seventh, They publish that the machine is going 
to be exhibited, when suddenly those who advertise it become 
silent '* Eighth, It is true there is a machine at his house, 
to which they give the name of perpetual motion, but that 
cannot be removed ; it is much smaller, and differs from the 
first, inasmuch as it only turns one way.' 

This is what makes Orffyreus and his machine to be sus- 
pected ; can it be that M. 's Gravesande was so mistaken as 
to be his dupe ? Let us read what he himself says in answer 
to M. Crousaz, which I have found among my papers, without 
date : — ' I have deferred replying to you until I had found a 
paper which I wrote the day after I examined Orffyreus' 
machine, for although I remember well all that passed, I 

* I find in a letter from M. Boman to M. 's Gravesande, dated from 
Cassel, 18th May, 1727, that in a month the machine was to be remade, 
and in the same condition as 1721, and even that M. 's Gravesande was 
invited, by order of the Landgrave, to go to Cassel and examine it. — E. 




"believe that a paper, written the day after the examination, 
and communicated to my Lord and all those who were with 
him, must have more weight. 

* This is what I heard ; they say that a servant under oath, 
turned Orflfyreus' machine being placed in an adjoining room. 

' I know well that Orflfyreus is a fool, but I ignore that he 
is an impostor ; I have never decided whether his machine is 
an imposture or not, but this I know as certainly as anything 
in the world that if the servant says the above, she tells a 
great falsehood. 

*My Lord the Landgrave in the presence of the Baron 
Fischer, Architect of the Emperor, and other persons at my 
request, showed the supports of the machine; we saw the 
axles imcovered ; I examined the plates or brasses on which 
the axles rested and in that examination, there, did not appear 
the slightest trace of communication with the adjoining room. 
I remember very distinctly the whole of the circumstances 
of that examination, which put Orfilyreus in such a rage with 
me, that the day affcer he broke Jiis machine in pieces, and 
wrote on the wall that, it was the impertinent curiosity of 
Professor 's Gravesande which was the cause. I read this 
myself the following year, and the result of the examination 
is clearly explained in the paper of which I spoke to you. 

* They told me several circumstances on the testimony of 
the servant, but I pay little attention to what a servant can 
say about machines, perhapsin turning her masters roast-jack 
she thought she saw a perpetual motion. If you know any- 
thing concerning this matter I shall feel much pleasure if you 
would communicate it.* 

It is dif&cult to determine what to believe about this ma- 
chine, it seems to me, however, that on examining minutely the 
for and against Or%reus we can come to these conclusions : 
1, That Orffjrreus was evidently mad as M. 's Gravesande and 
M. de Crousaz both afi&rm ;' his machinery broken at different 
fcimes without either reason or necessity prove this. But his 
was a sort of madness we do not often see : a folly £xed only 
on certain objects, and merits more the name of fantastical- 
ness or whimsicalness ; this kind of folly is often accompanied 
by much genius, and when persons of this disposition apply 
themselves solely to one subject, as it appears he did, it is not 
surprising to find them making discoveries which had escaped 
the sagacity of wiser people. Thus I do not wish to agree 


with M. de Crousaz, that it is incredible that a madman, such 
as Orflfyreus should have found out something that learned 
men have searched for unsuccessfully. Added to this he is 
mistaken in saying that Orflfyreus could hope for no other 
reward for his secrets than mere reputation : for he expected 
a considerable profit seeing that he demanded for it 200,000 
florins. 2, No exterior agent moved the machine ; if it were 
a servant that moved it, would it not have been apparent to 
eyes so searching as those that made the examination, or to 
the Landgrave who had seen the interior of the machine ? 
Besides how can one imagine that a wheel of so great a volume 
could have been moved by such a cause, a cause which would 
act simply on the axle in crossing the supports, and which 
must have been so small as to have escaped the most rigour- 
ous examination. 3, If the servant has not been paid to depose 
against Orflfyreus, what does her testimony prove ? Only that 
her master made her believe that by turning a little wheel, 
she moved the whole machine, and we can fancy a singular 
character, such as he was might have done this to prevent the 
curiosity of those who sought to penetrate his secret ; M. 
's Gravesande's opinion of this strange character is such that 
he doubts not his whimsicalness prevented him from making 
a new machine. 4, It must be confessed that this wheel was 
a very remarkable mechanical phenomenon, and this is all we 
can say, not knowing more than the preceding details ; it 
were too much temerity to say that this invention was a per- 
petual motion, as much as it would be wrong to call it an 
imposture, seeing that no exterior agent was employed. 

Dr. Kenrick proceeds to state that : — ^The celebrated John 
Bernoulli, speaking of the above demonstration, in a letter to 
the author, remarks that it is very just ; the principle as- 
sumed necessarily involving an augmentation* of force, viz. A 
perpetual motion. But this, continues he, is no more than 
Leibnitz had long before demonstrated in his dispute with 
Papin and others. 

Having thus occupied twenty-three pages in fencing him- 
self with a screen against the ridicule he appears to have so 
much dreaded, and reasonably anticipated from the many 

* Dr. K. notes:— jQ^e great roathematician maintains the possibiliiy 
of a perpetual motK, also in his other writings. — See J. Bernoulli, 
* Opera,' Tom. I., pa^42. [See * Per. Mob.,' First Series, page 532, for 
the article here alluden to by Dr. K. ; Ibid., Second Series, pa.^<K&5>^-^^^ 

116 PERPBTUUM mobile; 

authors he had himself similarly treated in the 'London 
Review,* we are informed that, — An accidental conversation, 
many years ago, on the spot where Orfffreus exhibited his 
machine, awakened the author's curiosity and directed his 
attention to an object which he hath ever since occasionally 
pursued. The experiments he hath made, even so long since 
as the year 1761, convinced him so far of the reality of Orffjr- 
reus' discovery, that he applied for letters-patent* to secure 
an exclusive right to the construction of a similar machine ; 
which he had contrived and denominated A EoTATOB.f Be- 
fore his patent, however, was expedited, he reflected that, 
though the model he had constructed might serve to re- 
move the prejudices of the public, it was not so well calcu- 
lated as it might be, to answer the practical purposes of so 
important a discovery. To the improvement of the Eotator, 
therefore, hath he long since dedicated all the time and at- 
tention he could possibly spare from his other, more imme- 
diately necessary, pursuits. 

Nothing can be more flimsy than the statement here made, 
and the next sentence would seem to explain the true state of 
the case. He proceeds : — ' Not that he believes he has con- 
trived quite so many different machines as Orf^rreus did, 
though he has been almost as many years engaged in the 
like undertaking ; he hath, nevertheless, both contrived and 
constructed a considerable number, many of them useless as 
costly, except indeed as they served to asssist him in com- 
pleting his invention.' 

His invention however was m>t complete, the very model of it 
was imsatisfactory ; like Orf^eus he had spent nearly twenty 
years, making numerous, and some costly, machines. He no 
doubt had hif own misgiWngs, and wishid to reimburse him- 
self for the great outlay he must have incurred during that long 
period, before the bubble finally burst ! However, poor man, 
C died Bine years after publisLg this elaborate 'aS^rtjS 
prospectus, which concludes : — * Such bodies corporate, private 
companies or individuals, as are interested in the construction 
or use of considerable mechanical engines, or are disposed to 
encourage the present discovery, may receive any further 
information they require, on applying to the inventor, William 
Kenbioe, Charles Street, St. James's Squane, March 1, 1770.' 

* See 'Per. Mob.,' 1861, page 178. t Ibid., page 48. 




In the * Calendar of State Papers/ Domestic Series, 1661-2, 
edited by Mrs. Green, 8vo, 1861, at page 465, occurs the 
following reference: — * August 22, 1662. Grant to James 
Street, 14 years, of his invention of making a mill, by the 
help of springs, to grind corn, and to drain mines without 
the use of wind, water, &c. [Docquet.] ' 

There is every reason to believe from this statement that 
the invention was some novelty in the application of springs, 
to serve instead of other methods by water or weights, &c., 
to effect a continual seK-motion. 

The Patent Office has only three patents on record during 
the seventeenth century that directly refer to mechanical 
efforts to realize a perpetual motion. But in the eighteenth 
century we find the number doubled, as though failure only 
created a determination to overcome every obstacle that even 
Nature herseK could by any possibility interpose.* 

When we consider that in addition to these hopelessly 
imbecile efforts, numerous ingenious plans have, in addition, 
been made public in various scientific journals, and early 
philosophical treatises, it becomes only the more remarkable 
that men's minds should not have long since lost all faith in 
such fruitless mechanical speculations. The present history 
affords abundant evidence of reproduction, rather than of 
progress ; of taking a circular path ever leading to the same 
starting-point, instead of going beyond the fallacies of by- 
gone ages. 

* See * Per. Mob.,* 1861, pages 60-84. 





Sevebal communications on the subject under review were 
published by the Eoyal Society between the years 1685 and 

We find among these, we had omitted to notice that, in the 
' Philosophical Transactions,* Vol. XXX., for the years 1717- 
1719, pubHshed in 1720, pp. 739-747, there is— 

' An account of Some Experiments shown before the Eoyal 
Society ; with an enquiry into the cause of the Ascent and 
Suspension of Water in Capillary Tubes. By James Jubin, 
M.D., and R Soc. S.,'* as follows : — 

Some days ago a method was proposed to me by an inge- 
nious friend, for making a perpetual motion, which seem'd so 
plausible, and indeed so easily demonstrable from an observ- 
ation of the late Mr. Hawksbee, said to be grounded upon 
experiment, that tho' I am far from having any opinion of 
attempts of this nature, yet, I confess, I could not see why it 
should not succeed. Upon tryal indeed I found myself dis- 
appointed. But as searches after things impossible in them- 
selves are frequently observed to produce other discoveries, 
unexpected by the Inventor ; so this Proposal has given 
occasion not only to rectify some mistakes into which we had 
been led, by that ingenious and useful member of the Boyal 
Society above named, but likewise to detect the real principle, 
by which Water is rais'd and suspended in capillary tubes, 
above the level. 

My friend's proposal was as follows. 

♦ This paper, omitting a few concluding remarks, is reprinted in the 
* Hydrostatic^ and Pneumatical Lectures,' by Roger Cotes, A.M., with 
Notes by Bobert Smith, LL.D. London, 1738, 8yo, pages 223-30. 



Fig. 1. Let A B C be a capillary Siphon, compos'd of two 
Legs A B, B C, unequal both in length and diameter ; whose 
longer and narrower leg A B having its orifice A immerst 

in water, the water will rise above the level, till it fills the 
whole tube A B, and will then continue suspended. If the 
wider and shorter leg B C, be in like manner immerst, the 

120 PERPETXJITM mobile; 

water will only rise to some height as F C, less than the 
entire height o£ the tube B C. 

This siphon being filled with water and the orifice A sank 
below the surfiEkce of the water D E, my friend reasons thus : — 

Since the two columns of water A B and F C, by the sup- 
position, will be suspended by some power acting within the 
tubes they are contained in, they cannot determine the water 
to move one way, or the other. But the column B F, having 
nothing to support it must descend, and cause the water to 
run out at C. Then the pressure of the Atmosphere driving 
the water upward through the orifice A, to supply the vacuity, 
which would otherwise be left in the upper part of the tube 
B C, this must necessarily produce a perpetual motion, since 
the water runs into the same vessel, out of which it rises. 
But the fallacy of this reasoning appears upon making the 

Exp. 1. For the water, instead of running out at the 
orifice C, rises upwards towards F, and running all out of 
the leg B C, remains suspended in the other leg to the height 

Exp. 2. The same thing succeeds upon taking the Siphon 
out of the water, into which its lower orifice A had been 
immerst, the water then falling in drops out of the orifice A, 
and standing at last at the height A B. But in making these 
two experiments it is necessary that A G the difference of the 
legs exceed F C, otherwise the water will not run either way. 

Exp. 3. Upon inverting the siphon full of water, it con- 
tinues without motion either way. 

The reason of all which will plainly appear, when we come 
to discover the principle, by wluch the water is suspended in 
capillary tubes. 

Mr. Hawksbee's Observation is as follows : — 

Fig. 2. Let A B F C be a capillary siphon, into which the 
water will rise above the level to the height C F, and let B A 
be the depth of the orifice of its longer leg below the surface 
of the water D E. Then the siphon being fill'd with water, 
if B A be not greater than C F, the water will not run out at 
A, but will remain suspended. 

This seems indeed very plausible at first sight. For since 
the column of water F C will be suspended by some power 


within the tube, why should not the colnmn B A, being equal 
to, or less than the former, continue suspended by the same 

Exp. 4. In fact, if the orifice C be lifted up out of the water 
D E, the water in the tube will continue suspended, unless 
B A exceed FC. 

Exp. 6. But when C is never so little immerst in the 
water immediately the water in the tube runs out in drops at 
the ori£ce A, tho' the length A B be considerably less than 
the height C F. 

Mr. Hawksbee, in his .book of Experiments, has advanced 
another observation, namely, that the shorter leg of a capil- 
lary siphon, as A B F C, must be immerst in the water to 
the depth F C, which is equal to the height of the column, 
that would be suspended in it, before the water will run out 
of the longer leg. 

Exp. 6. From what mistake this has proceeded, I cannot 
imagine ; for the water runs out at the longer leg, as soon as 
the orifice of the shorter leg comes to touch the surface of 
the stagnant water, without being at all immerst therein. 

Having proceeded thus far in obedience to the commands 
of this Illustrious Society, I beg leave to go a little further, 
and to enquire into the cause of the ascent and suspension of 
water in capillary tubes. 

That this phenomenon is no way owing to the pressure of 
the atmosphere, has been, I think, sufficiently prov*d by Mr. 
Hawksbee's experiments. 

And that the cause assigned by the same ingenious and 
inquisitive person, namely the attraction of the concave sur- 
face, in which the suspended liquor is contained, is likewise 
insufficient for producing this effect, I thus demonstrate. 

Since in every capillary tube the height, to which the water 
will spontaneously ascend, is reciprocally as the diameter of 
the tube, it follows, that the surface containing the suspended 
water in every tube is always a given quantity: but the 
column of water suspended is, as the diameter of the tube. 
Therefore, if the attraction of the containing surface be the 
cause of the water's suspension ; it will follow, that equal 
causes produce equal effects, which is absurd. 

122 PEBPETTJUH mobile; 

To this may perhaps be objected, that, in two tubes of un- 
equal diameters, the circumstances are different, and there- 
fore the two causes, tho' they be equal in themselves, may 
produce effects that are unequal. For the lesser tube has 
only a greater curvature, but those parts of the water, which 
lie in the middle of the tube, are nearer to the attracting 
surface, than in the wider. But from this if any thing follows, 
it must be, that the narrower tube will suspend the greater 
quantity of water, which is contrary to Experiment. For the 
columns suspended are as the Diameters of the tubes. 

But as experiments are generally more satisfactory in 
things of this nature, than Mathematical reasonings, it may 
not be amiss to make use of the following, which appear to 
me to contain an Experimentum Crucia, 

Fig. 3. The tube C D is composed of two parts, in the 
wider of which the water will rise spontaneously to the 
height B F, but the narrower part, if it were of a sufficient 
length, would raise the water to a height equal to C D. 

Exp. 7. This tube being fill'd with water, and the wider 
end C immerst in the stagnant water AB, the whole con- 
tinues suspended. 

Exp. 8. Fig. 4. The narrower end being immerst, the 
water immediately subsides, and stands at last at the height 
DG equal to BF. 

From which it is manifest, that the suspension of the 
water in the former of these experiments is not owing to the 
attraction of the containing suif ace : since, if that were true, 
this surface being the same, when the tube is inverted, would 
suspend the water at the same height. 

Having shown the insufficiency of this hypothesis, I come 
now to &e real cause of that Fhsenomenon, which is the 
attraction of the Periphery, or Section of the surface of the 
tube, to which the upper surface of the water is contiguous 
and coheres. 

For this is the only part of the tube, from which the water 
must recede upon its subsiding, and consequently the only 
one, which by the force of its cohesion, or attraction, opposes 
the descent of the water. 

This likewise is a cause proportional to the effect, which it 
produces ; since that periphery, and the column suspended, 


are both in the same proportion as the diameter of the 

Tho' from either of these particulars it is very easy to 
draw a just demonstration, yet to put the matter out of all 
doubt, it may be proper to confirm this assertion, as we have 
done the former, by actual experiment. 

Fig. 5. Let therefore E D C be a tube, like that made use 
of in the 7th and 8th experiments, except that the narrower 
part is of a greater length ; and let A F and B G be the 
heights, to which the water would spontaneously rise in the 
two tubes E D and D C. 

Exp. 9. If this tube have its wider orifice C immerst into the 
water A B and be fill'd to any height less than the length of 
the wider part, the water will immediately subside to a level 
with the point G ; but if the surface of the contain'd water 
enter never so little within the smaller tube E D, the whole 
column D C will be suspended, provided the length of that 
column do not exceed the height A F. 

In this experiment it is plsmi that there is nothing to sus- 
tain the water at so great a height, except the contact of the 
periphery of the lesser tube, to which the upper surfja.ce of 
the water is contiguous. For the tube D C, by the suppo- 
sition, is not able to support the water at a greater height 
than B G. 

Exp. 10. Fig. 6. When the same tube is inverted, and the 
water is raised into the lower extremity of the wider tube 
CD, it immediately sinks, if the length of the suspended 
column D H be greater than G B ; where as in the tube D E it 
would be suspended to the height A F. From which it mani- 
festly appears, that the suspension of the column D H does 
not depend upon the attraction of the tube D E, but upon 
the periphery of the wider tube, with which its upper surface 
is in contact. 

For the sake of those who are pleas'd with seeing the same 
thing succeed in different manners, we subjoin the two fol- 
lowing experiments, which are in substance the same with 
the 9th and 10th. 

Fig. 7. A B C is a siphon, in whose narrower, and shorter 
leg A B, if it were of a sufficient length, might be suspended 
a column of water of the height E F ; but the longer and 

124 PEBPETUUH mobile; 

wider leg B C will suspend no more than a colnmn of the 
length GH. 

Exp. 11. This siphon being fill'd with water, and held in 
the same position as in the figure, the water will not run out 
at C, the orifice of the longer leg, unless D C, the difference 
of the legs A B and B C, exceed the length E F. 

Fig. 8. Exp. 12. If the narrower leg B C be longer than 
A B, the water will run out at C, if D C the difference of the 
legs exceed E F ; otherwise it will remain suspended. 

In these two experiments it is plain, that the columns DC 
are suspended by the attraction of the Peripheries at A, since 
their lengths are equal to EF, or to the length of the column, 
which by the supposition those peripheries are able to sup- 
port; whereas the tubes BC will sustain columns, whose 
lengths are equal to G H. 

Tho' these experiments seem to be conclusive, yet it may 
not be improper to prevent an objection, which naturally pre- 
sents it seK, and wluch at first view may be thought suf&cient 
to overturn our theory. 

Fig. 5. For since a periphery of the tube E D is able to 
sustain no more than a column of the length A F, contained 
in the same tube ; how comes it to sustain a column of the 
aame length in the wider tube D C, which is as much greater 
than the former, as the section of the wider tube exceeds 
that of the narrower ? 

Fig. 6. Again if a periphery of the wider tube DC be 
able to sustain a column of water in the same tube, of the 
length B G ; why will it support no more than a column of 
the same length in the narrower tube ED? 

Which queries may likewise be made with regard to the 
11th and 12th experiments. 

The answer is easy, for the moments of those two columns 
of Water are precisely the same as if the sustaining tubes 
E D and C D, were continued down to the surface of tlie 
stagnant water A B ; since the velocities of the water, where 
those colimins grow wider, or narrower, are to the velocities 
at the attracting peripheries, reciprocally as the different 
sections of the columns. 

Fig. 9. Exp. 3. From which consideration arises this re- 
markable paradox. That a vessel being given of whatsoever 
form, as ABC, and containing any assignable quantity of 


water, how great soever ; that whole quantity of water may 
be suspended above the level, if the upper part of the vessel 
C be drawn out into a capillary tube of a sufficient fineness. 

But whether this experiment will succeed, when the height 
of the vessel is greater than that, to which water will be rais'd 
by the pressure of the atmosphere, and how far it will be alter'd 
by a vacuum, I may perhaps have the honour of giving an 
account to the Society some other time, not being perfectly 
satisfy'd with those trials which I have hitherto had the 
opportunity of making. 

Having discover'd the cause of the suspension of water in 
capillary tubes, it will not be dif&cult to account for the 
seeming spontaneous ascent of it. For, since the water, that 
enters a capillary tube as soon as it's orifice is dipt therein, 
has it's gravity taken off by the attraction of the periphery 
with which it's upper surface is in contact, it must necessarily 
rise higher, partly by the pressure of the stagnant water, 
and partly by the attraction of the periphery immediately 
above that, which is already contiguous to it. 

It might now be shown, how naturally the various, and 
seemingly contrary appearances of the above mention'd ex- 
periments are deducible from this theory; but this is so 
easy, that it is needless to insist upon it ; and our discourse 
upon this minute subject has been already so tedious, that 
we could scarce hope for pardon, unless it were directed to 
those, who are sensible to how many of the greater, and more 
considerable, phenomena of nature this doctrine is applicable. 

P.S. — When this paper was reading before the Society, I 
found that our incomparable President was already acquainted 
with the above-mentioned principle, and I have since met 
with several passages in the 31st Query subjoined to the 
late edition of his Opticka, which will plainly shew, that he 
was master of it, when they were written. 

I must do the same justice to that excellent mathemati- 
cian Mr. John Machin, Professor of Astronomy in Gresham 

To these two worthy persons I am obliged for the follow- 
ing observation, That what I call a Periphery, or section of 
the concave surface of the tube, is really a small surface, 
whose base is that periphery, and whose height is the distance, 
to which the attractive power of the glass is extended. 

12*6 PBBPETUTJM mobile; 

In * The History of the Paris Royal Academy of Sciences ' 
for the year 1740, * published in 1742, there occurs at page 
201, a memoir by the celebrated M. R. Camus, * On a Pro- 
blem of Statics which has reference to Perpetual Motion,' as 
follows : — 

A wheel, loaded with equal weights at the extremities of 
each of its spokes, being placed vertically upon its horizontal 
axle-tree, it is very evident that, owing to the equality of all 
the weights that it carries, it will keep motionless. But, if 
one only imagines that the spokes to the right of the wheel 
become longer all the others remaining the same, one may 
naturally think that the weights of these spokes exercising 
the action of their weight by a longer lever would have more 
force to descend than the weights of the left-hand spokes 
would have to resist them, and to hinder themselves from 
being raised, and consequently t^e wheel will turn. If these 
right-hand spokes being arrived to the left by the motion of 
the wheel, could shorten themselves with respect to those 
which would then be to the right the wheel would continue 
to turn; and the same play always recommencing, it would be 
perpetual motion. 

There is only to find the equivalent of the successive and 
continual lengthening and shortening of the spokes, and it has 
been found in equal weights movable in canals or grooves. 
To have some idea of it, one may suppose that each weight 
instead of being attached to the extremity of the spoke which 
carries it, can and ought, when the wheel turns, to pass from 
this spoke, upon its neighbour, in which there is a cavity 
prepared to receive it, and in which it falls. As each spoke 
has one, the succession of these cavities makes a complete 
groove which runs along all the spokes, and is a curve which 
returns into itseK. With respect to the design that one has, 
it is in its different parts at unequal distances from the centre 
of the wheel in order that the same weights may have some- 
times a longer, sometimes a shorter lever, although the 

* 'Histoire de L*Academie Royale des Sciences.* Aim^, 1740. 
* Avec les M^moires de Mathematique et de Physique, pour la m^me 
Ann^.* 4to. Paris, 1742. This work consists of two parts ; the first 
being, * L'Histoire ' ; tlie second, * Les Me'moires.* In the first division, 
at page 103, occurs, *^ Sur un probleme de Statique qui a rapport au 
mouvement perp^tuel.*' 


spokes of the wheel do not change their lengths. It is not 
necessary to explain in detail the construction of the machine, 
one has a pretty good idea of it, and we suppose it made in 
all possible perfection. It is certain that if the principle 
of it is good, perpetual motion is found, and those who have 
first had this idea, have been able to take credit to themselves 
for it. 

But M. Camus believes it to be false if it be closely exa- 
mined. Let it be understood that the wheel is in the state in 
which it ought to turn, that is to say, loaded at the top of its 
right-hand half by weights which owing to the place they 
have in the curved groove, work by longer levers than the 
weights which are in the left-hand haK of the wheel, it is 
very certain that the weights of the 1st half will have an 
advantage over those of the 2nd ; that consequently their 
weight which tends to bring them always nearer to the 
centre of the Earth, makes them descend, which they could 
not do without turning the wheel from right to left, and one 
can easily imagine that the weights which were at first on 
the left having taken the place of the first, and the same 
superiority of lever over those which will then be on the 
left, the wheel will continue to turn from right to left, and 
so on ; this is true so far, and this would really be perpetual 
motion, if there was nothing further to consider. 

When in virtue of the shape of the groove the weights of 
the right half of the wheel have levers longer than those of 
the left half, it is because the portion of this groove which is 
on the right is then farthest from the centre of the wheel, 
the fulcrum of all the levers. Now these right-side weights, 
farthest from the centre of the wheel, being compared with 
those of the left which are less distant from it, if we under- 
stand them to be in the same space, or between two parallels 
when they shall be on each side equally distant from the 
centre of the Earth, the first will be found in less number than 
the second; and that precisely because the first are farther from 
the centre of the wheel than the second, and consequently in 
an inverted ratio from their distance to this centre. 

It is thus that one sees a less number of the parts of an 
object, when it is farthest from the eye, and to the contrary, 
if the weights which have the longest levers, are in the same 
ratio less strong. 


The second division contains at p. 201 — 

Problem in Statics. By Hf, Camus, 

28 June ^®* ^^ ^^^ * wheel A G H B A^ A famished with 
1740. ' any number of spokes, equally distributed, round its 
^*^* ^' centre K, upon which it may be in equilibrium, and 
moveable without the least friction ; that each spoke threads 
a small body which might work without friction upon this 
spoke, and that all these small bodies that are supposed 
to be of equal masses and to weigh according to any law ; 
towards the same centre C of force, say in any curved groove 
M L F Z mf M made in an immoveable plain ; and last, that 
all these small bodies when the wheel comes to turn, slip 
with an infinite facility into the groove at the same time that 
they run upon their spokes. Bequired, the moment of each 
side of the wheel, that is to say, fiie moment that the bodies 
threaded by the spokes of the wheel will have to make it 


From the centre C, to which tend the bodies with which 
the wheel is loaded, describe two arcs M m, L Z, infinitely close 
together, which comprise an infinitely small portion M L of 
the groove, and corresponding to an infinitely small section 
G E H of the wheel, it is of no consequence that these infinitely 
small sections should be of the same kind. From the extremi- 
ties M and L of the infinitely small portion of the groove, may 
be drawn two right M C, L C of the centre C of forces ; and 
last from the centre E of the wheel, as centre may be described 
by M the arc M Q. This done, let p be the quantity of 
matter of all the bodies threaded by the spokes of the wheel, 
and moveable upon these sx>okes and in the groove; the 
circiunference of the wheel = 1, and Z the action of the C 
of the forces at the distance C M. The bodies threaded by 
the sx>okes of the sector G E H, are in the portion M L of 
the groove ; their mass i&p x G H, and their weight towards 
the centre C of the forces is Z x 1> X C H. But this weight 
which finds itseK within the portion M L of the groove, and 
of which the direction is as MC, divides itseK into two 
forces, the one perpendicular to the groove ML, and the 
other perpendicular to the spokes of the sector G H E. The 
force which is perpendicular to the portion ML of the 


groove is destroyed by the opposition of the groove itseK 
which, by its immoveability, presents to it an invincible 
obstacle ; thus this force has nothing which could move the 
system of the wheel on any side, and ought for this reason 
to be left aside as incapable of contributing to the effect 
that we seek. The other force which is perpendicular to 
the spokes which pass by ML tend entirely to turn the 
system, and is consequently the one to be considered. 

The arc M L of die groove and the sector G K H being 
infinitely small, 1", the arc M L ought to be considered as a 
straight line : 2°, the spokes comprised in the angle G K H, 
ought to be considered as parallels: 3®, consequently the 
bodies contained in ihe arc M L of the groove work equally 
upon these spokes and are applied to them at equal distances 
from the centre K. Thus one may suppose that all the 
masses contained in the arc M L is at the point M, and that 
the force which results from its weight perpendicularly 
upon K M, is applied to the lever K M to tend to turn the 
system of the wheel in the sense B H G A. Let us examine 
this force and the moment which results from it. 

The triangle M N L has its side M N perpendicular upon 
the direction M G of the body placed in the arc of the groove 
ML; its side N L being parallel to M K, is perpendicular 
to the action exercised perpendicularly upon the extremity 
M of KM; lastly the side ML is perpendicular to the 
action of the same body upon it. ' Therefore the weight 
of the body contained in M L, its perpendicular action at 
the extremity of the lever K M, and that it exercises perpen- 
dicularly upon M L, are proportional to the three sides 

Therefore of the weight of the body contained in M L, 
which weight has been foimd = Z X p x G H, it results 
perpendicularly to the extremity M of the lever KM, a 

force = ^^^ MN^^^^ ' *^^ multiplying this force 
by the lever K M to which it is applied we shall have 

— ^^ for the differential moment of 

one side of the system. 

But I*', owing to the similar sectors G K H, M K Q, we have 

E 2 

132 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

GB[xKM = MQx KG; thus ^^j 

is also the differential moment of one side of the system. 
2**, owing to the similar triangles M Q N, L O N, we have 

tCTTt = ii?-?Tj *^^s zrzrz^ = LO = P K. Therefore 


Z X p X KGx PB is the differential moment of the 'same 

side of the system, and the integral of this differential is the 

moment (itself) of the system. Which it was necessary to 




One sees in the differential moment Zxi>xKGxPB, 
that p which is the quantity of the mass of the bodies 
threaded by the spokes of the wheel, is constant, and that 
K G, the spoke of the wheel, is also constant, and conse- 
quently the differential moment is as Z x P R, that is to 
say proportional to the product of the action Z of the centre 
C of the forces upon M L, and of the differential P R, or 
O L from the distance of M L to the centre C of the forces. 


Whatever may be the law of the weight of the bodies to- 
wards the centre C, provided that this centre acts equally at 
equal distances from it, the bodies contained in the portions 
M L, m Z, of the groove, taken at equal distances from the 
centre C, or to speak niore clearly the bodies contained in the 
arc M L, Tra Z, within two parallel arcs M m, L Z, which have 
for centre the centre C of the forces, have equal opposite 
moments, and are consequently in equilibrium. 

For the moment of the bodies in ML is ... Z xpx KGx PR. 

And the moment of the bodies in m Z will be ... Z xp X K ^ 

But Z = Z, since it is the actions of the same centre at 
equal distances from it, and all the rest is evidently equal. 
The moment of the bodies contained in the two arcs of the 
grooves ML, ml, are therefore equal ; and as these moments 
tend to make the system turn in a contrary sense, they are 
in equilibrium. 

Let F be the point of the groove farthest from the centre 


C of forces, and / the point of this groove nearest to the 
same centre C ; the bodies which will be in the part F M / 
of the grooves will tend to make the wheel turn according 
to B G A, and those which will be in the other part ¥ mf 
of the groove, will tend to make the wheel turn in an oppo- 
site sense, that is to say, according to B ^ A, and these con- 
trary efforts will be in equilibrium. 

For if we describe an infinity of arcs between F and /, 
which always having for centre the centre C of forces, the 
two sides F M /, F w / of the groove will be divided into 
the same number of parts, and the bodies which will be con- 
tained in the corresponding parts of the groove, comprised 
between the same two arcs, will have moments equal each to 
each ; thus the entire moment of one side of the system will 
be equal and opposed to the entire moment of the other side, 
and, consequendy the entire system will be in equilibrium 
upon the centre K of the wheel. 


From thence we see how much those err who search for 
Perpetual Motion by weight alone, or by central actions which 
act equally upon the system at equal distances from their 
centre; I have seen several of them (Inventors) who pre- 
tended to demonstrate by a machine similar to that by which 
I have just established equilibrium, and which maintained 
that bodies threaded by the spokes of a wheel and which 
would have the liberty of circulating in a groove, which on 
one side brought them nearer the centre of the wheel, and on 
the other kept them further from it, would oblige the wheel 
to turn in descending on the side that the bodies were fur- 
thest from the centre, and that as all the bodies would pass 
in succession from the side where they were furthest from 
the centre, whilst those which are furthest would pass from 
the side where they ought to be nearest, the system would 
be in a perpetual motion. 

I have an idea to have seen a Machinist who pretended to 
have found perpetual motion similar to that I have just ex- 
amined, with this difference however, that he employed two 
central forces. These forces were, as far as I can remember, 
the weight and the force of a loadstone that he placed under- 
neath the side that the groove was furthest from the centre 

134 PEEPBTUUM mobile; 

K of the wheel, as in S. The bodies threaded by the spokes 
of the wheel being supposed of iron, he pretended that the 
side the furthest from the centre K would be the most at- 
tracted, and that the machine would take a movement which 
would only end with itself. But this means is not worth 
more than the weigjit alone ; for, suppose the weight directed 
towards any centre C, the weights which would press to- 
wards this centre would be in equilibrium upon the centre K 
of the wheel, as I have just shown : Thus, all the action of 
the system in virtue of weight, would reduce itself to a com- 
bined effort in the direction K C, as if one single force placed 
in K where the support is, pushed this system towards C. 
As one must suppose that the loadstone placed in S, will act 
equally at equal distances from itself, the iron balls which 
will be in parts of the groove taken at equal distances from 
the loadstone, will have moments equal and contrary, and 
will be consequently in equilibrium upon the centre K of 
the wheel. Thus, of all the forces that the iron balls will 
receive of the loadstone, will result a second combined force 
which will act from K towards S, as if this force was applied 
in K.. Now, forces applied to the centre of a wheel cannot 
make it turn since they find upon this centre a support which 
stops them. Therefore the proposed system will not turn at 
all, when the bodies which circulate in the groove, will have 
two centres of weight towards which they will tend, following 
any law. 

The same reasoning will prove that the system would not 
turn, even when the bodies threaded by the spoke should have 
a^greater number of centres of weight, whatever may be their 
number, since each centre will produce the same total effect 
upon the bodies, that would be produced by a certain force 
placed at the centre of the wheel where its support is. 


If the small bodies M, L, m, Z, &c., which circulate in the 
groove F M/ m F, are threaded by any curved lines similar 
and similarly placed with reference to the wheel, and equally 
distributed upon the circumference not only would there be 
equilibrium between the bodies which will be in the parts of 
the groove L M, Z m, taken at equal distances from the centre 
C of forces, but the bodies will still have the same moment 


as if they were strung by straight lines drawn from the centre 
to the circumference. For the bodies which are in L M, are 
threaded by the curved threads KMV, KL Y, and by the 
intermediate threads which end in the small arc Y Y of the 
circumference of the wheel ; thus their mass will he p x Y Y, 
and their weights will be Z x 1> X Y Y. 

But this weight Z x i> X Y Y, will divide itself into two 
forces, of which one will be perpendicular to the curved 
thread K L Y, or K M Y, of the point M, and the other per- 
pendicular to the portion L M of the groove upon which it 
will find a support so that the three sides M D, L D, M L, of 
the triangle M D L will be perpendicular to these three forces, 
and will consequently be proportional to them. We shall have 

therefore MD : LD : : Z x p X YY : ^^^ ^Z^^^^ 

= the force applied perpendicularly in M upon the curved 
thread K M Y. Now in drawing M I perpendicularly upon 
the curved string K M Y, and of the centre K of the wheel, 
K I perpendicularly on M I, this right K I will be the lever 

where will be applied the force ^~WTi *^** ^® 

I. ' ,^ A A n Zxj pxYYxLDxK I 
have just found, and consequently Wfi 

will be the differential moment of one side of the system. But 

the triangles L D, M E D, being similar -, ..^ = ,rrr^ ; thus 

^ M D ME 

1,111. 4. .1. . ,Zxi>xYYx LOxKI. 
we shall have for the same moment ,,^== 


But — =rp^ = K G, spoke of the wheel ; for if from 

the centre K of the wheel, as centre, we describe the arc M Q 
centre of the two curved strings K M Y, K L Y, we shall have 
1°, owing to similar triangles M E Q, K L M, which have the 
sides perpendicular to each other, ME : KI : : MQ : KM. 
2°. And because the strings K M Y, K L Y are similar, and 
similarly placed with regard to the wheel 



And consequently ME : KI : : Y Y : KG = -^^ — 


Substituting K G for — --. ^ — in the differential moment, 

JzL hi 

we shall have Zxjpx KGxLOfor differential moment, 
and this moment is precisely equal to that which has been 
found when the bodies were threaded by the spokes of the 

The moment of the bodies contained in the corresponding 
arc Zm of the groove, will heZ x p X ^g X lo, and conse- 
quently equal to that of the bodies contained in the arc L M, 
Therefore the system is again in equilibrium. 

The article IV. one has just demonstrated, would have 
been able to make the subject of the principal Problem, and 
the Problem by which this memoir commences would have 
been but a corollary which would not have wanted a parti- 
cular demonstration. 


If the curved strings K M V, K L Y, Kmn, K Z y, are 
not similar and similarly placed with regard to the wheel, 
there will only be some situations in which the system will 
be in equilibrium, and there will be other situations in which 
there will not be equilibrium ; thus one cannot demonstrate 
the equilibrium of the system in general, as when the strings 
which thread the bodies are similar and similarly placed. 


So long as the differential moment shall be under the 
form ZxpxKGxLO, one cannot have the integral of 
it, or the moment of a side of the system, and, so long as Z 
shall exist the integration could not take place ; wheti^er as 
a power of the distance to the centre C of forces, or as a 
function of the same distance and of constant lengths. 

Let it be Z as (M C)", and let it be / the action of the 
centre of the forces upon the centre K of the wheel, one will 

have Z = /^ t ^^:;;.— ^? and the differential moment will 
(G K)"* 

(G M)"* 
become /xpxKGx /p jrim ^ ^ 0, of which the integral 


or the moment of any part of the system is 
/xpxKG (CM)-+^ 
(C K)- ^ m X 1 ^ 


If the origin of abscissas is in K, that is to say, if one only 
counts the moment of the system above or under the arc 
EKr, described from the centre C of forces, by the centre K 
of the wheel, and that the moment may be nil when C M = 
C K, the integral moment will be , 

fxp X KG (C M)"»+^ /^ p X K GxCK 

(CK)- ^ m + 1 m + 1 

/ X p X K G I (CM)"'+^ - (CE 
(OK)™ ^ I w+1 


If the centre C of the forces is at an infinite distance, and 
that in consequence the action of the centre of the forces 
becomes constant upon the finished system that one experi- 
ences, one will make m = in the integral that one has just 
found, and one will make fxpX KGx (CM — CK) = 
/xpxKGx KPfor the moment of the bodies contained 
in the arc M K of the system. One would have found the 
same moment in making Z constant in the differential 
Z X P X KGx LO, in taking L O for the differential of the 
distance from the point M to the arc R r described from the 
centre G of forces by the centre K of the system, which arc 
will be a straight line perpendicular in the direction of the 

One will have again the same moment when the centre C 
of forces shall be at a definite distance, and these forces shall 
be constant. — Mem. 1740. 

140 . PBBPETuuM mobile; 



In addition to former opinions, we have now to offer those of 
Rohault, prior to 1675 ; Morland, 1697 ; Maupertius, 1752 ; 
Camot, 1783 ; Bonnycastle, 1803 ; Stuart [Meikleham], 1829 ; 
Dr. Lardner, 1856 ; M. Arago, 1857 ; Professor De Morgan, 
1857 ; Dr. Whewell, 1858 ; and A. Morin (of New York), 
1860; all of whose remarks, in connection with sinular argu- 
ments in other chapters of the present work, should effectu- 
ally humble the lofty expectations of all mechanical enthu- 
siasts in a path everywhere strewed with the wrecks of 
failing models, resulting from unsound theories thus prac- 
tically demonstrated. 

James Rohaxtlt, a French philosopher who died in 1675, 
in his * System of Natural Philosophy,'* when treating of 
the syphon, remarks : — 

There are few of those who inquire after a perpetual mo- 
tion, but^rhen they see this experiment, for want of rightly 
understanding the cause of it, think ^ey have found out 
such a motion. And indeed it looks at first sight very pro- 
bable, that if we take one of these syphons, in the smaller 
branch of which the water rises very high, and bend this 
branch a little lower than the height which the water rises 
to, it might be so ordered, the liquor with which it is filled 
might run out into the larger branch, in order to rise up 
again in the smaller one [by capillary attraction], and so 

* * Bohanlt's System of Natural Philosophy, with Dr. Samuel Clarke's 
Notes.' Translated by Dr. John Clarke. 2 vols. 8vo, 1723. See Chap. 22, 
Art. 86, p. 149. 


produce a perpetual motion.* But it is certain that they 
are deceived who make this conjecture ; for besides that, the 
branch of the syphon, out of which the water is to run, ought 
to be longer than the other, (which is not so here, where the 
bent branch is in the room of a whole syphon) it is easy to 
see that the water, the moment it endeavours to come out at 
the end of this small crooked branch, is more exposed to the 
force of the air, than that which is contained in the larger 
branch ; whence it follows, that its passage out must be 

On this article Dr. Clarke says in a note : — It is mani- 
fest, from calculation upon mechanic principles, that all 
questions about a perpetual motion end in this: — To find 
out a weight heavier than itself, or an elastic force stronger 
thai\ itself; which is absurd. 

In 1697, Joseph Morland, who was a Fellow of the Eoyal 
Society, and Surgeon to the Royal Hospital of Invalids, at 
Paris, published a pamphlet "f of 73 pages, with a short pre- 
face. Writing on the properties of water-tubes of diflferent 
forms and sizes, he concludes : — 

And this is a pretty experiment in Hydrostaticks ; and 
these cautionary reflections will, I presume, if thoroughly 
understood, discourage young practitioners from ever attempt- 
ing to deceive the order of nature, and confound the equilibrium 
of weights (whether liquid or dry) by imaginary Perpetual 

Maupertius, whose letters J were published in 1762, is 
often quoted for his just censure of the chimerical jtosuits of 
mere ignorant schemers. He writes : — 

Having spoken of what might be done for the progress of 
science, I will say a word about what might perhaps also 
be expedient to prevent a great number of people, not pos- 
sessing the knowledge, necessary for judging the means and 

* See an early attempt of this kind, with a diagram, in * Per. Mob./ 
First Series, page 145. 

t * Hydrostaticks : or, Instructions concerning Water- works. Col- 
lected out of the Papers of Sir Samuel Morland.' 12mo. 1697. 

X ^Lettre sur le progres des Sciences.* Par M. de Maupertius. 12mo. 
1752. See page 123. 


the end of their undertakiiig, but flattered by some fancied 
reward, §pend their lifetime on three problems, the chimeras 
of science, viz. the philosopher's stone; the quadrature of 
the circle ; and the perpetuum mobile. The learned societies 
(Academies) know what time they lose in examining the pre- 
tended discoveries of these poor people ; but that is nothing 
pompared to the time they themselves lose, the pecuniary 
expenses they incur, and the trouble they undergo. One 
might forbid them the search of the philosopher's stone as 
their ruin; inform them that the quadrature of the circle, 
carried beyond what we have already would be useless, and 
that tl^re is no recompense whatever held out to those who 
would find it ; and assure them that the perpetuum mobile is 

M. Arago, in his * Life of L. N. M. Cabnot,' * observes 
that his first essay and principal scientific, production, is en- 
titled ' Essay on Machines in general,' 1783. Its author died 
in 1823, at the advanced age of 70 years. Arago says : — 

In the work whose analysis has carried me further than I 
expected, Camot has devoted some lines to the question of 
perpetual motion ! He shows not only that every machine, 
of whatever form, abandoned to itself will stop, but he more- 
over assigns the moment at which that must happen. 

The arguments of our colleague [as a member of the In- 
stitute] are excellent ; no geometer ^ill dispute their exact- 
ness ; may we yet hope that they will nip in the bud the 
numerous projects which every year, or rather 'every spring,' 
sees burst into flower ? 

This is what we cannot hope for. The contrivers of per- 
petual movements would no more comprehend the work of 
Camot, than the discoverers of the quadrature of the circle, 
or the trisection of the angle understand the geometry of 
Euclid.l Science is not needed by them ; they owe iheir 
discovery to a sudden supernatural inspiration. Moreover, 
nothing discourages them, nothing undeceives them: take 

* * Biographies of Distinguished Scientific Men.' By Francois Arago. 
Translated by Admiral Smyth, Rev. B. Powell, and E. Grant, MJL. 
8vo. 1857. 

t Not quite a just comparison. There is no reason why these geome- 
trie feats must be impossible, as is the case with perpetual motion. — 
Translator's Notes. 


for example that artist, otherwise highly estimable, who, 
without perceiving anything innocently burlesque in the 
terms of his request, begged me to go and see ' why all his 
perpetual movements had stopped.* 

L. N. M. Camot * himself says : — 

From what we have observed regarding friction and other 
passive forces, it may be inferred that perpetual motion is a 
thing absolutely impossible, when only such bodies are em- 
ployed as are not acted on by motive power, or any heavy 
body ; for, as these passive forces which cannot be avoided 
are constantly resisting, it is evident that the movement must 
continually abate ; and from what has been said it will be 
seen that, when bodies are not acted on by any motive power, 
the simi of active force will be reduced to nothing, that is 
to say that the machine will be brought to rest when the 
amount of activity absorbed by friction, since the commence- 
ment of the movement, will have become equal to one-half 
of the initial active force ; and, when the bodies are weights, 
the movement will terminate when the amount of activity 
absorbed by the friction equals one-half of the initial active 
force ; moreover, one-half of the active force, existing, if all 
the parts of the system have a conmion speed, equals that 
which is due to the height of the point where, in the first 
instance of the movement, was the centre of gravity above 
the lowest point to which it can descend. 

It is easy to apply the same reasoning to constructions 
where springs are used, and generally to all such construc- 
tions where, abstracting from friction, the moving force, in 
order to bring the machine from one position to another, 
must consume an amount of activity as great as that which is 
absorbed by the resisting forces when the machine returns 
from the last to the previous position. 

The movement will terminate still sooner, if any percussion 

* L. N. M. Camot. * Principes fondamentaux de Tequilibre et du 
mouvement.' Paris, 1803. See page 256. 

144 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

takes place, as the sum of active force is always diminished 
in such cases. 

It is therefore evident that one must altogether despair 
of producing what is called the perpetuum mobile, if it be 
true that all the motive powers existing in nature consist in 
nothing but attraction, and that it is a general property of 
this power to be always equal at equal distances between 
given bodies, that is to say, to be a function that only varies 
in cases where the distance of these bodies varies itself. 

J. BoNNYOASTLE, in his Preface to Bossut's ' History of 
Mathematics,'* dated from the Koyal Military Academy, 
Woolwich, 21st February, 1803, states that : — 

It is obvious that a good history of Mathematics might be 
considered as a register of experiments, to ascertain the 
strength of the human understanding in some of its highest 
attainments ; which would also serve, as far as they have been 
successful, to guide and encourage our future researches. 
And, even in those cases where they have failed, they might 
prove of nearly equal importance, in preventing the repe- 
tition of useless trials, and unprofitable labour. How many, 
for instance, have wasted a great part of their lives in at- 
tempts to square the circle, to discover the perpetual motion, 
&c., who, if they had only read an account of what had been 
done by others in that way, would probably have been 
deterred from entering upon those hopeless and ill-feted 

Robert Meikleham, the author of several excellent popular 
and other scientific treatises, in his ' Anecdotes of the Steam 
Engine,'! under the pseudonym of Eobert Stuart, speaking of 
works published in the sixteenth century, relating to mechani- 
cal subjects, takes occasion to offer the following reflections : — 

♦ * A General History of Mathematics/ by John Bossut 8vo. 1803. 
See pages iv., v. 

f * Historical and Descriptive Anecdotes of Steam-Engines, and of 
their Inventors and Improvers,' by Bobert Stuart, C.£. 2 vols. 12mo. 


From the influence these works had on subsequent com- 
pilers, it must be regretted that at that time no good model 
of mechanical description existed to guide the labours of 
those whose taste or profession led them to describe ma- 
chinery. The connection, arrangement, and use of the ma- 
chines are given in these and later works with neatness and 
perspicuity ; but anything relating to the velocities and pro- 
portions of their parts is seldom found. This, to the artisan, 
is a point of essential importance. This helped not a little 
to prolong the reign of visionary speculation, or hypothetical 
combinations, in tiiat class whose studies had a theoretical 
direction, and who found it more congenial to induce a fan- 
ciful genius, by giving the reins to imagination rather than 
to reason. Deduction from experiment was unknown to them. 
Their mechanical chimeras, however visionary in themselves, 
might have passed as trifles, and been tolerated as harmless, 
because carrying evidence of their own absurdity; but they 
unfortunately had a deeply injurious tendency, being heed- 
lessly considered as lights directing in the path of truth ; 
instead of beacons warning against error, they produced dis- 
appointment and distracted attention from things which 
ought to have been followed. The obstinacy with which 
this philosophical delusion was cherished, marked it as a 
vigorous shoot of that social Quixotism, whose influence still 
lingered in the usages, and tinctured the opinions of society 
throughout Europe. The same aberration of intellect, which 
prompted romantic adventure in search of ideal perfection, 
made the alchemist of the period recklessly cast gold itself 
into the furnace, in the vain hope of finding among its ashes 
a talisman for its unlimited reproduction; and mechanics, 
struck also with the mental pestilence, wasted that * precious 
stuff that life is made of in figuring machines, by which 
mountains could be raised by a child's breathing on small 
sails attached to a combination of wheels and pinions, and in 
pursuing the phantom of perpetual motion. 

Few writers have approached Db. Labdnkb* in the clear, 
popular, and dispassionate exposition of the fallacy of the 
perpetual motion mania, which he has given, his remarks, if 

* * Handbook of Natural Philosophy,* by Dionysius Lardner, D.G.L. 
(Mechanics.) Post 8vo. 1856. See pages 307-9. 


146 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

carefully read, well considered, and constantly borne in mind, 
should go far to extinguish for ever the last lingering hopes 
of the most infatuated enthusiast in his hopes to defy and 
deoeiye the most obvious laws of Nature. He ably and justly 
remarks : — 

There is no mechanical problem on which a greater amount 
of intellectual ingenuity has been wasted than that which has 
for its object the discovery of the perpetual motion. Since 
this term, however, is not always rightly understood, it will 
be useful here to explain what tiie perpetual motion is not, as 
well as what it is. 

The perpetual motion, then, which has been the subject of 
such anxious and laborious research, is not a mere motion 
which is continued indefinitely. If it were, the diurnal and 
annual motion of the earth, and the corresponding motions of 
the other planets and satellites of the solar system, as well as 
the rotations of the sun upon its axis, would be all perpetual 

To understand the object of this celebrated problem, it is 
necessary to remember tiiat, in considering the construction 
and perfbrmance of a machine, there are three things in- 
volved : 1st, the object to which the machine gives motion ; 
2ndly, the construction of the mechanism ; and Srdly, the 
moving power, the effect of which is transmitted by the ma- 
chine to the object to be moved. In consequence of the in- 
ertia of matter, the machine cannot transmit to the object 
more force than it receives from the moving power ; strictly 
speaking, indeed, it must transmit less force, since more or 
less of the moving force must be intercepted by friction and 
atmospheric resistance. If, therefore, it were proposed to 
invent a machine which would transmit to the object to be 
moved the whole amoimt of force imparted by the moving 
power, such a problem would be at once pronounced impos- 
sible of solution, inasmuch as it would involve two imprac- 
ticable conditions : first, the absence of atmospheric resist- 
ance, which would oblige the machine to be worked in a 
vacuum; and secondly, the absence of all friction between 
those parts of the machine which would move in contact with 
one another. 

But suppose that it were proposed to invent a machine 


which would transmit to the object to be moved a greater 
amount of force than that imparted by the moving power, the 
impossibility of the problem would in this case be still more 
glaring, for even though the machine were to work in a 
vacuum and all friction were removed, it could do no more 
than convey to the object the force it receives. To suppose 
that it could convey more force, it would be necessary to 
admit that the surplus must be produced by the machine 
itself, and that, consequently, the matter composing it would 
not be endowed with the quality of inertia. Such a supposi- 
tion would be equivalent to ascribing to the machine the 
qualities of an animated being. 

But the absurdity would be still greater, if possible, if the 
problem were to invent a machine which would impart a 
certain motion to an object without receiving any force what- 
ever from a moving power ; yet such is precisely the cele- 
brated problem of the Perpetual Motion. 

In short, a Perpetual Motion would be, for example, a 
watch or clock which would go so long as its mechanism 
would endure without being wound up ; it would be a mill 
which would grind com or work machinery without the 
action upon it of water, wind, steam, animal power, or any 
other moving force external to it. 

It is not only true that such a machine never has been 
invented, but it is demonstrable that so long as the laws of 
nature remain unaltered, and so long as matter continues to 
possess that quality of inertia which is proved to be insepar- 
able from it, not only in all places and under all circum- 
stances on the earth, but throughout the vast regions of space 
to which the observations of astronomers have extended, the 
invention of such a machine is an impossibility the most 

Professor A. Db Morgan,* an acute mathematician, keenly 
satirizes all manner of paradoxes, and is especially unsparing 
in his sarcasm when dealing with the performances of any 
luckless perpetual motion seeker. Treating of impossible 
problems, his peculiar style of censure is brought out in fall 

* * Notes and Queries/ Second Series, vol. iii. 4to. 1857. See 
page 273. 

L 2 


force wlien treating of Perpetual Motion. He says of this 
problem : — 

The purse of Fortunatus, which could always drop a penny 
out, though never a penny was put in, is a problem of the 
same kind. He who can construct this purse may construct 
a Perpetual Motion ; in this way. Let lum hang the purse 
upside down, and with the stream of pence which will flow out 
let him buy a strong steam-engine, and pay for keeping it at 
work day and night. Have a new steam-engine ready to be set 
in motion by the old one at its last gasp, andso on to all eternity. 
A Perpetual Motion demands of the nature of things a machine 
which shall always commimicate momentum in the doing of 
some work, without ever being fed with any means of collect- 
ing momentum. It could be compassed in a certain way, — 
that is, by retaining the work done to do more work, which 
again should do more, and so on — if friction and other resist- 
ances could be abolished, and nothing thrown away. In this 
way the fall of a ton of water from a reservoir might be 
employed in pumping up as much water into another reservoir, 
which, when landed, if it be lawful to say so of water, might, by 
its subsequent fall, pump up an equal quantity into the original 
reservoir, and so on backwards and forwards, in aecula secvlo- 
rum. But not a drop must be wasted, whether by adhesion to 
the reservoir, by evaporation, by splashing, or in any way what- 
ever. Every drop that falls down must be made to raise 
another drop to the same height. So long as the sockets have 
friction, or the air resists, this is impossible. In fact matter, 
with respect to momentum, has the known qualities of a basket 
with respect to eggs, butter, garden-stuff, &c. No more can 
come out than was put in ; and every quantity taken out re- 
quires as much more to be put in before the original state is 
restored. So soon as the law of matter is as clearly known as 
the law of the basket, there is an end of looking for the Per- 
petual Motion. 

That people do try after a Perpetual Motion to this day is 
certain. A good many years ago a Perpetual Motion Com- 
pany * was in contemplation ; and the promoters did me the 
unsolicited honour of putting my name to a list of directors. 
Fortunately the intention came round to me before the list 

* See *Per. Mob./ First Series, page 420. 


was circulated ; and a word to the editor of a periodical pro- 
duced an article which, I believe, destroyed the concern. The 
plan was to put a drum or broad wheel with one vertical half 
in mercury and the other in vacuum.* This instrument, the 
most unlucky drum since Parolles, feeling the balance of its 
two halves very unsatis&ctory, was to go round and round in 
search of an easy position, for ever and ever, working away 
all the time — I mean all the eternity — at lace-maHng, or 
water-pumping, or any other useful employment. People 
were told that if they would sell their steam-engines for old 
iron, they might buy new machines for the money, which 
would work as long as they held together without costing a 
farthing for fuel. Certainly, had the scheme been proposed 
to me, I should have declined to join until I had derived 
assurance from seeing the donkey who originated it turned 
into a head-over-heels perpetual motion by tying a heavy 
weight to his tail, and an exhausted receiver to his nose. 

For the reasons given Professor De Morgan advises no one 

to try these problems. 

Video quod vestigia 

Intnmtium multa, at nulla exeuntium. 

Db. WHEWBLL,f in his ' Novum Organon Benovatum,' takes 

occasion to observe, in Book I., ' Aphorisms concerning ideas 

derived from the history of ideas,' wherein he states in 

Aphorism LIV. that — 

In the establishment of the laws of motion, it happened, 
in several instances, that principles were assumed as self- 
evident which do not now appear evident, but which have 
since been demonstrated from the simplest and most evident 
principles. Thus it was assumed that a perpetual motion is 
impossible; — that the volodties of bodies acquired by falling 
down planes or curves of the same vertical height are equal ; — 
that the actual descent of the centre of gravity is equal to its 
protential ascent. But we are not hence to suppose that these 
assumptions were made without ground ; for since they really 
follow from the laws of motion, they were probably, in the 

♦ See * Per. Mob.,' First Series, pages 472-5. 
t * Novum Organon Renovatum,* by William Whewell, D.D., &c. 
8vo. 1858. See page 15. 

160 PBRPETUUM mobile; 

minds of tlie discoverers, the results of undeveloped demon- 
strations which their sagacity led them to divine. 

A. MoBiN, * of New York, has given the following demon- 
stration in his * Observations relative to Perpetual Motion ' : — 

' The velocity only remaining the same when the elementary 
variation v, = o, we should then have F« = Q^'-j-Ea^qp PA. 
Now, in supposing, even the work of useM resistance Qs 
to be zero, in which case the machine serves no useful pur- 
pose, that of the prejudicial resistance E «" can never be zero, 
since we cannot have machines without weight, and conse- 
quently without friction. We must then always have a 
certain motive work F « to maintain the motion, which shows 
the absurdity of all the attempts to obtain what is called 
perpetual moti.on, or a motion self-sustaining, without the aid 
of any exterior motive force.' 

No reasonable mind can fail to be convinced of the im- 
possibility of imbuing inert matter, as it were, with a principle 
of activity, so as to be always falling over yet without falling ; 
always descending, and yet ascending at the same time ! 

One chief cause of error in judgment on this topic, next 
to the main one of ignorance of first principles, is the 
compHcation of parts which most mechanics introduce into 
their drawings or models ; and an inherent inability on their 
own parts to reduce new mechanical constructions to their 
elementary principles. Complicate steam-engines as we 
may, we still see that we cannot dispense with the expansion 
and condensation of steam; and the action of the several 
parts of a new invention in that department can never be 
independent of a primum mobile. The seeker after per- 
petual motion generally depends on the law of gravita- 
tion, but if ignorant of its very elements, to say nothing of 
complex operations, how can he ever hope to succeed in ac- 
complishing one of the most miraculous achievements of 

* ^ Fundamental Ideas of Mechanics and Experimental Data.' By 
A. Morin. Kevlsed, Translated, and Keduced to English Units of 
Measure by Joseph Bennett, C.E. Sva New York, 1860. See 
page 248. 


hmnBn ingenuity? The attainment of a meclianical per- 
petual motion is no child's play, it is no work for ignorance 
to accomplish ; and the utmost stretch of calculating skill 
has oyer and over again demonstrated that the sole object 
sought to be. attained resolyes itself into an absurdity, but 
an absurdity too remote for ordinary uneducated minds to 
realize ; therefore it is only after multiplied failures on their 
own parts, and on the parts of other speculators, that a slight 
glimmering of the sad truth is at last unwillingly admitted 
by such speculative experimentalists. 




The scientific and literary serials of the last fifty years 
appear to have unanimously discountenanced all communi- 
cations on the subject of perpetual motion, with the single 
exception of ' Notes and Queries,' in the pages of which, how- 
ever, it has been principally treated in reference to author- 

The first series of the present work, in 1861, seems to have 
exhausted those stores of popular information of an earlier 
date ; and we cannot take a retrospective glance at the several 
schemes thus published without feeling surprised that such 
gross mechanical blundering as they all perpetuate should 
have maintained to so late a period of the present century 
sufficient interest for the public taste to find a place in the 
columns of the popular magazines of those times. 

We find among them projects for discovering the longitude ; 
others would appear to be offered by way of public competi- 
tion for an imaginary Government reward; and not unfre- 
quently were their shallow designers deceived with delusive 
hopes of enduring honour and renown I 

The concocters (for inventors they are not) of perpetual 
motion monstrosities are by no means an extinct race : they 
still exist, though they certainly do not flourish ; that is, if we 
except some few instances of their finding dupes to patronize 
their imbecile efforts, in a class of men whose kindly feelings 
and liberality exceed their intelligence in sciences foreign to 
their habits of thought or inclination, and who do not in such 
matters distinguish between stupidity and genius. 


All scientific and literary channels of information being 
closed against the lucubrations of the perpetual motion 
seeker, no reasonable apology can be offered for those well- 
designing, but easily misled and duped individuals who abet 
that deluded class of persons in the perpetuating of their idle 
dreams of self-acting engines, mills, pumps, and other efforts 
to disprove the universal law of the inertia of matter. No 
man of education, of fortune, of business, can be justified for 
encouraging pursuits which, though innocent in themselves, 
are manifestlv useless if possible, but which are certainly 
impoBsible. as aU ecientific history proves, and as every step 
in the advance of scientific knowledge confirms and renders 

The decaying confidence in the possibility of discovering a 
mechanical perpetual motion proceeds without intermission. 
It has wholly lost ground with mathematicians ; it is repu- 
diated by all scientific academics ; its projects are excluded 
from the higher class of periodical publications ; and it only 
now drags out an uncertain existence in the specifications 
which its unhappy advocates lodge in the archives of the 
Patent Office, as evidence in perpetuity of their weakness, 
simplicity, and folly. It is indeed the doomed idol of a 
dark age, and the revival of its adoration is not compatible 
with the scope and spread of modem progress as promulgated 
through multiplied departments of our scientific, literary, 
and social institutions. 



DEFmrriONS and desobiptions of pebpbtual motion from 


We have but little to add under this division of our history 
to what has already been presented to the reader. Every 
early popular scientific dictionary introduced an article under 
this head to explain, expostulate, and generally to warn 
deluded inventors against wasting their time and property ; 
but very few indeed have introduced essays containing ori- 
ginal observations, and we therefore avoid, for our present 
purpose, all evidence which, though good, amounts to little 
beyond repetition. 

- 1. — In a scientific Lexicon* published in 1710 the author 
says, in reference to Perpetual Motion, that : — 

By this term ought to be meant an uninterrupted commu- 
nication of the same degree of motion from one part of matter 
to another, in a circle (or such like curve returning into 
itseK) so that the same quantity of matter shall return per- 
petually and undiminidied upon the first mover. And 
perhaps if men had rightly understood that this is the true 
meaning of a perpetual motion, abundance of expenditure both 
of money and reputation might have been saved by the vain 
pretenders to this piece of impossible mechanism. For since 
by the second law of nature or motion, the changes made in 
the motions of bodies are always proportional to the im- 
pressed moving force, and are produced in the same direction 
with it, no motion can be communicated to any engine or 
machine greater than that of the first force impressed; and 
therefore since on our earth all motions are performed in a 

* ' Lexicon Teclmicum ; or, an Universal English Dictionary of Arts 
and Sciences.' 2 vols, folio. 1710. 


fluid which resists them, it must of necessity retard them ; 
and consequently a considerable quantity of the motion must 
be spent on the resisting medium ; so that it is impossible the 
same quantity of it can return undiminished on the first mover ; 
which yet is absolutely necessary for. the continuance of the 
same motion perpetuaUy. Besides, in no engine or machine 
whatsoever can all friction be avoided, there being in nature 
no such thing as exact smoothness or perfect congruity. The 
manner of the cohesion of the parts of bodies, the small pro- 
portion the solid matter bears to the vacuities between them, 
and the nature of those constituent particles not admitting it ; 
wherefore this friction will also sensibly in time diminish the 
impressed or communicated force, so it is not possible the 
motion can be perpetual ; which effect indeed can never follow 
unless the communicated force be so much greater than the 
generating force as to recompense the diminution made' 
therein by all these causes, in order to the motions returning 
undiminished upon the first mover. But nil dat quod non 
Mbet, the generating force cannot communicate a greater 
degree of motion than it hath itself, and consequentiy the 
perpetual motion is demonstratively impossible. 

Besides, it being certain that a body cannot move con- 
stantly in any orbit with the same degree of motion from one 
single impulse must by that means continually decrease, and 
so at last be quite spent and extinct. From hence it will 
follow also, that there can be no Perpetual Motion in any 
engine from one single impulse ; for tins motion, that it may 
return again upon the first mover^ must be propagated in auy 
orbit, and consequently must by degrees cease and stop. / 

2. — An article in Wolff's Mathematical Lexicon,* 1734, is 

to the following effect : — 

Perpetuum Mobile is, in mechanics, a machine that by 
means of its structure continues its movement, when the same 
has been once excited in it, so that its movement would con- 
tinue for ever, if the material of which the machine is made 
were not destroyed or its structure damaged. To form such 
a perpetuum mobile, it would, therefore, be indispensably re- 
quired that the movements should not be aided in any manner 

* Christian von Wolff, ^ Yollstandiges Mathematisches Lexicon. 8vo. 
Leipzig, 1734. 


from without, but that all the motiye forces should be con- 
tained within the machine, and that the movement be not 
continued for some time merely, but as long as the machine 
itseK lasts ; consequently, that which is to constitute its 

motive pow;r m^not b/'eaaily ^-^^^ ^ ^-^ «J.t«»- 
tions. The search for this motion has, since remote times, 
been pursued by many who have devoted to it great exertions, 
frequently also great pecuniary sacrifices, but in every in- 
stance in vain. G. Schott, in his ' Technica Curiosa,' Lib. X., 
P. L, page 732 et seq., gives a description of various schejpies 
proposed by inventors. A more complete account has been 
compiled by F. T. de Lana, in his * Magisterium Naturae et 
Artis,' T. L, Lib. Vm., c. 2 and 3. L. C. Sturm, in ' Mathe- 
sis,' P. n., p. 366, considers that for some time nobody, ex- 
cept idly, had attempted this investigation. Also Bonajutus 
Lorini, on ' Fortification,' Lib. V., c. 19, sneers at the seekers 
of perpetual motion. It is no wonder, he says, that he who 
studies everlasting motion becomes an everlasting fool. And 
indeed, it cannot be expected that learned mathematicians 
should spend their precious time with this inquiry. For the 
invention of the perpetuum mobile is one of tiiose which de- 
pends less on understanding than on luck ; the obstacles against 
the movement of the machine arising solely from the friction 
of its parts being of such a nature as cannot be properly 
computed ; not to mention other things which are likewise, 
at present, but incompletely understood, and which are, never- 
theless, indispensable for the construction of the machine. 
And, therefore, those who are in search of the perpetuum 
mobile must not mind trouble and expense, and apply them- 
selves to such machines as seem most promising. Those, 
however, who are able to enlarge science by their mere in- 
tellect, ought not to be expected to stake their industry 
and pecuniary means on 'such a mere game of chances ; 
particularly as the chances are constantly diminishing of 
realizing the perpetuum mobile. S. Stevinus, in his ' Element. 
Static.,' Lib. I., Prop. 19, p. 448, gives a clever demonstration 
about the horizontal position of two weights on an inclined 
plane, which presupposes the impossibility of perpetual mo- 
tion. He shows tlukt if the thing were not so, as it has been 
proved to be by mathematical axiom, that then perpetual 
motion would be a possibility. He uses here the reduction 


of his proposition to perpetual motion in the same manner as 
geometricians use the reduction to the impossible or absurd. 
For him perpetual motion is precisely the same thing in 
mechanics that a part equal to the whole is in geometry. 
Baron de Leibnitz has subsequently found that there is 
nothing in perpetual motion that is not fully explainable by 
what is already theoretically and experimentally known about 
motion ; not to mention what has been otherwise demonstrated 
as to the descent of the common point of gravity in a machine, 
by which it is ultimately brought to quiescence. He who 
would nevertheless try his fortune in this matter must, above 
all things, be possessed of profound mechanical science, to 
make an exact computation of his perpetuum mobile, to ex- 
amine closely the distribution of its component parts and its 
point of quiescence, and, as much as possible, to avoid fric- 
tion. But, although much industry has been shown in this 
matter, and some advantages for the purpose have been gained, 
such as making the axle-tree of a wheel very light, still all 
the models, deemed the most excellent that have yet been 
brought out of the perpetuum mobile, have been shown by 
experience to be mere toys ; and certainly it is practically 

3. — ' The EncyclopsBdia Britannica,'* in a biographical no- 
tice, observes that : — 

Charles Stephen Louis Camus, a mathematician and me- 
chanician, born at Cressy-en-Bril, near Meaux, August 26th, 
1699, inserted in the * Memoirs' (of the Paris Academy) for 
1740, a confutation of a Mechanical Fallacy, one which has 
misled many of the enthusiasts who have bewildered them- 
selves in the search of a perpetual motion; demonstrating 
that when a number of weights are caused to descend in any 
imaginable paths at a greater distance from the centre of a 
wheel than they ascend, the number of the weights descending 
at any one time must always be smaller than those of the 
weights ascending, and iu such a proportion as perfectly to 
compensate for the mechanical advantage apparently gained 
by the greater distance. 

* * The EncyclopsBdia Britannica.' 8th [edition. 4to. Edin. 1854. 
See vol. vi., p. 131. 



4. — Treating of the *Laws of Motion/ the writer in 

* Knight's CyclopeBdia '* states : — 

Among the many absurdities which have arisen out of a 
misapprehension of the laws of motion, is the attempt to dis- 
cover what is called a perpetual motion^ or a machine which of 
itself would never stop. The earth and planets are such 
machines in their rotations on their axes ; and we have seen 
that any particle of matter, unacted on by other matter, and 
once in motion, is a perpetual motion. K a wheel attached 
to an axle could be deprived of friction at the pivots, and in- 
closed in a permanently air-tight and perfectly exhausted 
receiver, it would also, when once in motion, be a perpetual 
motion. But as long as any friction or resistance, however 
small, is perpetually retarding the motion, it is obvious that 
the velocity, if maintained, must be indebted to some external 
supply of moving power. To take the case of friction, which 
arises from the roughness of the supports, and which, inde- 
pendently of adhesion^ may be considered as a rapid succession 
of very small jolts, by which the roughnesses of the one surface 
strike, upon those of the other, and communicate a portion of 
momentum to the frame, and finally to the earth : to suppose 
that a wheel as above described could go on for ever, with 
friction, would be to suppose that there could be action without 
reaction* In fact, a perpetual motion, such as is intended to be 
made by the speculators on the subject is nothing less than a 
machine which will work for ever without new moving power ; 
it being not one bit less absurd to suppose that it would per- 
petually overcome friction and atmospheric resistance, than 
that it would continue to supply the impetus necessary to 
carry on the sawing of a plank, or the weaving of lace. 

6. — In his * Cyclop8Bdia,'t Professor Nichol remarks on 
Perpetual Motion that : — 

K this famous appellation had simply meant perpetuity or 
indestructibility of force, it would have stood for an important 
and undeniable truth. No force is lost in the Universe ; we 
never discern the loss, but only the conversion of force, e. ^., 

♦ * The English Cyclopsedia/ Conducted by Charles Knight. Arts 
and Sciences, vol. v. 4to. 1860. 

t ' A Cyclopiedia of the Phyeical Sciences.* By J. P. Nichol, LL.D. 
8yo. 1860. 


when a machine is brought to a stand through friction, all 
that has occurred is — the force applied to move the machine 
has — through the resistance we call friction — ^been converted 
into a mechanical equivalent of Heat ; and this Heat, by commu- 
nication and radiation, is in existence playing its equivalent 
mechanical part. But this is not the common or practical 
conception attached to the term perpetual motion. It has 
ever signified as follows : — a machine, whose characteristic is, 
that the initial or primary force shall be restored or replaced 
by the very movement it produces. Now setting aside the 
fact, that, in every machine of earthly materials, part of the 
initial fprce must ever be converted into heat and dissipated 
through effect of friction, it is clear that, were such a machine 
consummated, the effect would be not motion, but equilibrium 
or rest, A machine is a mere medium of connection between 
power at one end, and effect at the other ; and were these two 
equal, the machine would simply stand still. The negation 
of the possibility of perpetual motion may therefore be ac- 
cepted as an axiom in mechanical science. Mr. Grove has 
recently shown, in a most ingenious essay read before the 
Eoyal Institution of London, that important uses may be made 
of this axiom as an aid in scientific research. He has illus- 
trated by many important instances, that, considered as a test, 
it may enable us to discern in any experiment, to what degree 
of approximation we have obtained, from- any given natural 
force, the total quantity of power it is capable of affording ; 
and that it might also serve, on tiie discovery of any new 
phenomenon, to show, up to what point, that phenomenon 
might be put in relation with phenomena formerly known. 
Mr. Grove's essay well merits the attention of every one in- 
terested in the philosophy of the sciences. 

6. — From Gehler's compilation* published at Leipsic in 

1833, we select the following observations : — 

By perpetual motion, which also, but rarely, is called a 
self-mover, we understand a something which moves continu- 
ally, without at present paying regard to the question as to 
what cause may produce this motion. In consequence of the 

* John Samuel T. Gehler's * Physikalisches Wartenbuch neu bear- 
beitet von Brandes, Gmelin, Hiorner, Muncke, Pfaff.* Leipzig, Lieben- 
ter band. 8vo. 1833. See p. 4Q8. 


power, yet one mnst well consider that oonsidering the 
arrangement of the varions parts originally, no moving power 
is existing, whenever a finds itself in its horizontal position, 
consequently, no motion whatever can take place, however 
little one might estimate the power required for that purpose. 
But this defect might, considering the general observations 
alluded to, be remedied if one were to produce by means of 
an originally employed power the necessary motion, and the 
Perpetuum Mobile would be indeed establii^ed if the surplus 
weight of the longer lever were as great as is necessary in 
order to move the wheel a during its return to the original 
place back again to a, and at the same time to overcome the 
Motion of the whole machine; because the originally em- 
ployed power would be preserved always throughout its 
length. But it may easily be seen here, that by the indicated 
local change of the wheel a, in whatever manner it might 
be effected, the wheel k would sink and take the place of fi, 
whilst a would take the place of 8 ; should then the change 
of the letters not be considered, then the wheel «f, cr, /3, ^, 
would react on* the lever. By the movement caused thereby, 
that is to say, if k were to take the place of ^, and a, that of 
8 , ^8 by its fall could not rise entirely up to the place a, 
iJthough indeed it ought to rise according to the laws of 
mechanics as high as it did fall ; but by the resistance of the 
means employed for producing the motion it loses somewhat 
by the friction, which would go on continually diminishing 
the originally communicated power, and the machine would 
be nothing but a pendulum oscillating until its motion was 

The article proceeds with a further examination of the 
diagram to the same effect, which it is unnecessary to follow 
in its details. 

He shows, however, that the results of any communicated 
motion would terminate in its oscillating and coming to rest. 

This arrangement is elaborately discussed, lever by lever, 
and weight by weight, but only with a view to make more 
clear the same non-effect. 

He proceeds to name the best known machines for attain- 
ing the desired object, as Coxe's barometer clock ; clocks of 
Lepaute, moved by draughts ; also Eecorder's, and the clocks 
by Zamboni's galvanic column, &c. Indefinite allusions are 




problem ; he, therefore, offers the following general observ- 
ations : — 

That by the fall of one given weight another is to be lifted, 
and to supply the loss which is unavoidable, by employing 
mechanical means, especially the lever and inclined plane. 

He then remarks on the effects of elasticity, the applica- 
tion of the inclined plane, and also the lever, on which latter 
most of the attempts at perpetual motion are dependent on 
the laws of the lever. 

K the ring or wheel A B, Fig. 43, is everywhere equally 
thick, and in its centre rests on an axis — ^if, moreover, the 
same wheel ahcd are at equal distance from the centre, the 


machine would rest in every position. But if it were then pos- 
sible to bring the wheel d to that place occupied by a, then c 
would be lowered with a surplus wheel, proportionate to the 
length of its lever ; at the first glance tiiere seems but an in- 
significant power required to produce the indicated local 
clmnge, i. e, if the motion were to take place in a horizontal 
plane or level, in which case it would be only essential to 
overcome the friction arising from the surplus of the lever 


162 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

power, yet one must well consider that oonsidering the 
arrangement of the various parts originally, no moving power 
is existing, whenever a finds itself in its horizontal position, 
consequently, no motion whatever can take place, however 
little one might estimate the power required for that purpose. 
But this defect might, considering the general observations 
alluded to, be remedied if one were to produce by means of 
an originally employed power the necessary motion, and the 
Ferpetuum Mobile would be indeed established if the surplus 
weight of the longer lever were as great as is necessary in 
order to move the wheel a during its return to the original 
place back again to a, and at the same time to overcome the 
friction of the whole machine ; because the originally em- 
ployed power would be preserved always throughout its 
length. But it may easily be seen here, that by the indicated 
local change of the wheel a, in whatever manner it might 
be effected, the wheel k would sink and take the place of p, 
whilst a would take the place of 8 ; should then tiie change 
of the letters not be considered, then the wheel k, a,p, ^, 
would react on* the lever. By the movement caused thereby, 
that is to say, if k were to take the place of p, and a, that of 
^$ , ^ by its fall could not rise entirely up to the place a, 
s^though indeed it ought to rise according to the laws of 
mechanics as high as it did fall ; but by the resistance of the 
means employed for producing the motion it loses somewhat 
by the friction, which would go on continually diminishing 
the originally communicated power, and the machine would 
be nothing but a pendulum oscillating until its motion was 

The article proceeds with a further examination of the 
diagram to the same effect, which it is unnecessary to follow 
in its details. 

He shows, however, that the results of any communicated 
motion would terminate in its oscillating and coming to rest. 

This arrangement is elaborately discussed, lever by lever, 
and weight by weight, but only with a view to make more 
clear the same non-effect. 

He proceeds to name the best known machines for attain- 
ing the desired object, as Coxe's barometer clock ; clocks of 
Lepaute, moved by draughts ; also Becorder's, and the clocks 
by Zamboni's galvanic column, &o. Indefinite allusions are 



made to older machines of this kind given by Gkuspar Schott, 
Franciscus de Lanis, and others. The nnreal perpetual 
motions tried by Papinns and Bemonlli, and a large nnml^r 
of others which, though made public, have been neglected as 
insufficient, but which he considers deserve some attention. 
He notices as most remarkable, the machine of Orff^reus, or 
rather Bessler, acknowledged by a learned commission, among 
which were Dr. Fr. HoflBmann, and V. Wolff. The most 
violent opponent he found was the learned mechanician 
Gartner in Dresden, who offered to pay 1000 reichsthaler if 
it could be kept in continuous motion for four weeks. It had 
been previously declared by Borlach to be a deception. The 
Landgrave Charles of Hesse Cassel, however, ordered the 
celebrated artist to his residence, that he might erect such a 
machine at Weissenstein, which he did accordingly, but is 
said afterwards to have destroyed it. Gartner and others 
have made perpetual motion machines, having been fraudu- 
lently actuated by concealed clockwork, showing externally 
a ball moving on a reversible inclined plane ; similar in con- 
struction are the clocks by Grollier de Serviere, also the 
machine made by Seilor in Ulm (Wurtemberg), and the 
Murseburgher machine by Borlach, and the wheel by Charles 
Castelli ; likewise the wheel apparently moved by balls, in- 
vented by Conrad Shiviers, and the model shown by Zoll and 
Koppe, as likewise the apparatus of Thiville and others. The 
construction of some machines have evidently only been 
imagined and not practically carried out, as those of Neuman, 
Hantzsche, Borlach, Peters, and Strong, and also the plan of 
Congreve by capillary action. None of these have astonished 
so much as the wheel made by the watchmaker G^iser from 
Chaux de Fond, consisting of balance cylinders so ingeniously 
worked and executed as to deceive clever workmen ; the de- 
ception being discovered only after his death : on taking the 
machine to pieces it was found that on removing the clock 
hands the concealed means for winding up were easily to be 

7. — There is a very excellent article on this subject in 
' Chambers's Encyclopcedia,'* issued in 1866, occupying four 

* * Chambers's Encyclopcedia, on the basis of the latest German Con- 
versations Lexicon,* 8yo. 1865, &c. 

M 2 

164 PEBPSTUtni mobile; 

pages, illustrated with eight diagrams, among which we may 
here observe that the plan of a wheel, having arms or levers 
weighted at one end, and hinged by the other to the periphery 
of a wheel, is not by 'Jackson,' but is identical with the ma- 
chine described by Honecort* in the 13th, and its repro- 
duction by Mitzf in the 17th century; the weighted cham- 
bered wheel also is not by ' Merlin,' as it occxirs among Da 
Vinci's J graphical sketches in the 16th century ; and the over- 
flowing and self-filling Cup attributed to * Norwood,' it will 
be seen, by reference to page 146 of our First Series of * Per. 
Mob.,' was suggested by the Abbe de la Eoque in 1686. We 
are the more particular in noticing the parentage of these 
hopeless efforts, from feeling assured that the farther back 
that we can trace their origin, the less inviting is the resus- 
citation of such ancient blundering ; this retrograde process in 
invention being the hapless fortune of all perpetual motion 
seekers. The following is merely an abstract of the article 
under notice :— 

According to Newton's First Law all unresisted motion 
continues for ever unchanged. Thus, if friction could he 
avoided^ a top or a gyroscope spinning in vacuo is an instance 
of motion which would be unchanged for ever, and which, 
therefore, might be called perpetual. The motion of the sun 
in space, the earth's rotation about its axis, and numerous 
other motions, are in this popular sense perpetual. 

It is necessary to remark here, that even these motions 
are subject to retardation ; for instance, those of the bodies 
of the solar system, by the resistance of the luminiferous 
medium, which we know to be matter, and which fills aU 
space. This was remarked by Newton himself, for he says, 
The large bodies, planets and comets, preserve their motions 
longer (than terrestrial objects), because they move in less 
resisting media. The same cause influences the motions of 
the gyroscope, but in its case there is another retarding in- 
fluence at work, due to the production of electric currents 
by the magnetism of the earth. 

But this is not what is technically understood by the title, 

» See chapter i., p. 1. f Ibid., p. 32. J Ibid., p. 7. 


The Febpetual Motion. It means an engine which, with- 
out any supply of power from without, can not only main- 
tain its own motion for ever, or as long as its materials last, 
but can also be applied to drive machmery, and therefore to 
do external wort In other words, it means a device for 
creating power or energy without corresponding expenditure. 
This is now known to be absolutely impossible, no matter 
what physical forces be employed. In fact, the modem phy- 
sical axiom, the Conservation of Energy, founded on experi- 
mental bases as certain as those which convince us of the 
truth of the Laws of Motion, may be expressed in the nega- 
tive thus : — The perpetual motion is impossible. Helmholtz's 
beautiful investigations regarding Conservation of Energy 
are founded on tius axiom. So is the recent application by 
Clausius of Camot's remarkable investigation of ihe 'Motive- 
power of Fire' to the sure * Theory of Heat.' 

The complete statement of the impossibility of procuring 
the perpetual motion with the ordinary mechanical arrange- 
ments, in which it was most commonly sought, is to be found 
in the *Principia' (q. V.) as a deduction from Newton's Third 
Law of Motion. The equivalent principle of Conservation of 
Energy is there stated in a manner wluch leaves nothing to 
be desired ; although not given in anything like the modem 
phraseology. Yet it is usually said in works on Perpetual 
Motion that De La Hire (in 1678) gave the first proof of its 
impossibility in ordinary mechanics. This proof, published 
long after Newton's, is by no means so complete, as it ex- 
poses only some of the more patent absurdities which had 
been propounded for the solution of the problem. It is cer- 
tain, and worthy of particular notice, that Newton was far 
in advance of the greatest of his contemporaries and their im- 
mediate successors in the fundamental notions of mechanics. 
Thus, we find John Bernoulli seriously propounding a form 
of the perpetual motion, depending upon the alternate mix- 
ture and separation by a filter of two liquids of different den- 
sities ; an arrangement which is as preposterous as the very 
common suggestion of a water-wheel which should pump up 
its own supply of water. 

It is curious that long before Newton's time the physical 
axiom, that the perpetual motion is impossible, was assumed 
by Steinus as a foundation for the science of statics. 


PEBPETUUM mobile; 

His process is as follows : — Let an endless chain of nni- 
fonn weight be passed round a smooHi triangular prism, 
A B C, of which the iaoe B C is horizontal. The free por- 
tion of the chain, BBC will hang 
in a symmetrical curve, and its ten- 
sion will therefore be the same at B 
and at C. Hence the other portions 
B A C of the chain will be free to 
move, unless the resolved part of the 
weight A B, acting down the in- 
clined plane A B, just balance that 
of the corresponding portion of the 
chain down A C. K these balance, the parallelogram of 
forces is proved ; if not, one side will preponderate, and we 
shall evidently obtain the perpetual motion. 




Our previous chapter has so far exhausted this division of 
our subject that we have only three letters to offer, two from 
the ' Gentleman's,' the third from the ' European Magazine.' 
The former illustrates a remark already made, while the 
latter shows to how late a date persons have believed in 
the existence of a Government reward. A correspondent to 
the ' Gentleman's Magazine,'* 1785, writes : — 

Bev. Mr. Gainsborough. 

Mr. Urban, l^th November. 

I have long been desirous of recording the memory of 
one of the most ingenious men that ever lived^ and one of the 
best that ever died. . • . The gentleman whose genius and 
virtues I mean to speaJk of was pastor to the con^egation of 
Dissenters at Henly-upon-Thames, his name Gainsborough, 
brother to the ingenious artist whose pencil will immortalize 
him, while a brother, his equal in another line of genius, 
might have been forgotten. Perhaps of all the mechanical 
geniuses this or any nation has produced, Mr. Gainsborough 
was the first. I have a clock of his making in my possession, 
and which I have seen go with accuracy, though all the parts 
were not finished (for, if it had, it would have been a perfect 
perpetual motion) ; that is a wonderful piece of mechanism, 
every part of wmch was made by his own hands. It is a 
pendulum clock, in which a tin box is dharged with a certain 
number of musket bullets. When the clock goes, a little 
ivory bucket appears loaded with one of them, and, having 
slowly descended to the bottom of the case, it is so received 

♦ *The Gentleman's Magazine,' vol. Iv. for 1785. Part Second. 
See p. 931. 

168 PEBPSTUUH mobilb; 

there as to open a valve and discharge the load. It then 
ascends empty to the clock, and there receives a fresh charge, 
and thns goes till it has expended the whole of the original 
ammunition ; and had the ingenious artist lived, I perceive 
there are inactive wheels which are designed to fetch np the 
bullets, and do what must now be done by hand. Another 
curious and most expensive work of his I had the honour to 
present to the British Museum, in hopes of depositing it 
where it may remain as long as brass can endure ; and as it 
may be seen there, I will not attempt to describe what I had 
not capacity to conceive, the manner of perfectly using ; it is, 
however, a sun-dial, on a brass claw, which points tiie time 
to a second in every part of the globe. 


A correspondent writes to the 'Gentleman's Magazine,' 

vol. Ivi., 1786, Part I., page 45, to correct some errors in 

Polyxena's letter, says : — 

As to the bullet-clock which Polyxena is in possession of, 
I well remember it ; it is a curious piece of mechanism, and 
deserves a fuller description than he has given. The inactive 
wheels were, as he rightly imagines, intended to fetch up the 
bullets by means of a vane, which was to have been kept in 
motion by a current of air directed against it; but Mr. 
Gainsborough was too sensible a man, and too good a me- 
chanic, to dream of forming a perfect ' perpetual motion ;' * 
just such a perpetual motion as this would have been are 
the present new-invented watches, which require no other 
power to keep them going than that motion which is commu- 
nicated to them by the play of the thigh in walking. 

♦ * « ♦ « * 

Mr. Grainsborough departed this life suddenly in a place 

near Henley, while he was conversing with some gentlemen. 

♦ * * * ♦ * 

This, if I mistake not, happened in the year 1771. f 

R. W. 

♦ See * Gentleman's Magazine/ vol. Iv., p. 932. 

t See ' Gtontlenian's Magazine/ vol. Ixiil., part IL, p. 718, for following 
inacription : — 

** Mr. Gainsborough died suddenly, after bein^ npwcirds of twenty- 
eight years minister of this con^:regation (at Henley-on-Tliames, in 
Oxfordshire). Ob. 23rd August, 1776, aged 57 years." 


The following letter* reads very quaint after a lapse of 

three-quarters of a century : — 

Sib, — Permit me through the medium of your instructive 
and entertaining publication to impart the following questions, 
for the solution of such of your numerous readers as will be 
so obliging to undertake the task : — 

1. Is there any reward, and if any, to what amount, offered 
by Parliament, or any other public body, to the discoverer of 
perpetual motion ? 

2. Whether the continual revolving of a small wheel (sup- 
pose 2 inches diameter) on its axis, without any further 
assistance after its £b:st setting off, would be accounted worthy 
the reward, if there exists any? 

3. As all substances will in time wear out, whether the 
above would not be allowed to be perpetual motion, though, 
in fact, in the course of years, time must impair it ? 

4. What are the most useftil purposes to which the above 
discovery might be applied ? 


* * The European Magazine.* By the Philological Society of London. 
8vo. 1796. See p. 164. 






In 1818, the late Sir David Brewster addressed a letter to 
the ' Annales de Chimie,'* in relation to the construction of 
John Spence's magnetic Perpetual Motion, a contrivance 
already noticed in * Per. Mob.,' First Series, pages 182, 226, 
and 293. This farther information, coming from such a 
source, is curious and interesting. The editor introduces the 
extract from the letter by observing, ' The reader will readily 
conclude that in publishing this article we are influenced 
solely by the great reputation of the learned contributor.' 
Sir David writes from Edinburgh :— 

I am almost afraid to inform you that at this moment in 
Edinburgh may be seen a machine, made by a shoemaker at 

A B 


c" d' 

Linlithgow, which realizes the perpetual motion. This effect 

♦ •Annales de Chimie et de Physique/ 8vo. Paris, 1818. See 
pp. 219, 220. This notice was kindly pointed out, and the present 
translation made, by Mr. W. G. Atkinson, of the Patent Office. 



is produced by two magnets A and B, acting alternately npon 
a needle m n, of which the point of attachment n corresponds 
exactly with the axis aronnd which turns the moveable lever 
C D. When the needle m n has been attracted into the posi- 
tion m' n by the action of the magnet B, and C D is in con- 
sequence found in C D', a substance connected with mn is 
interposed by mechanism between m! n and B. This substance 
has the property of intercepting, or rather of modifying the 
action of the magnet B, and this permits the other Magnet A 
to draw the needle into the position m" n ; but no sooner has 
it reached this point than a second plate or layer of the same 
substance places itself before the magnet, and immediately B 
attracts anew the needle. 

The annexed figure exhibits a second form of the machine. 
A and B are two horse-shoe magnets, a and h the mysterious 
substance, and m n the needle, which turns constantly with 

great rapidity. Mr. Flayfair and Capt. Eater have inspected 
both of these machines, and are satisfied that they resolve the 
problem of perpetual motion. 

In 1823 appeared a work on ' New Machines, invented and 
described by Frederich von Drieburg,'* published in Berlin, 
in which the author describes as his fourth invention an 
arrangement of jointed levers set round an axle, and appa- 
rently suggested by the Marquis of Worcester's proposition 
in the 56th article of his ' Century,' as he alludes to the use 
of forty spokes and forty rollers or weights, the latter of 
which he calculates at 50 lbs. each, as well as at lesser 
amounts of weight He states that he believes he has dis- 
covered by this means the true arrangement for a mechanical 
perpetual motion. 

* 'Neue Masohinen, erfunden und besohrieben von FriedHch von 
Drieberg.' 4to. P. 23. Berlin, 1823. 


The annexed engraviiig shows the axle of this extern of 
lerera at a, and the coUBtnicti<Hi of the levers is a multiplica- 
tion of the fbnu at a, h, e, with a roller or weight d, and whioh. 

' " I ft A - a ^i It j < M ii ifc 

being jointed at b, allows that portion of the levere &, <^ to pass 
ontvrards in their descent, and to oome inwards on their ascent. 


for which pnrpoee it is required that these levers should only 
open out to an angle sufficient to cause them to touch the 
inner surface of the semi-circular inclined plane /, g^ h, as they 
approach it at /, on which the weight No. 4 is tiierefore seen 
resting, and will next be followed by Nos. 6, 27, 48, &c. It 
is supposed by the author that all this will take place in 
consequence of the preponderance of weight at e, on the 
descending side ; and that as the levers arrive at the position 
Z, they will be, so to say, lapped up, and the weight of such 
lever rest against the axle, as is here shown to have happened 
to all the ascending levers from Z to ^, and onwards to the 
vertical lever m, thus completing one rotation of this system 
of weighted jointed levers. The resistance to be overcome 
in the weights to be forced up the inclined, or plane or planes 
/, g, h, is conceived to be very insignificant as compared to the 
pressure exerted in the combined weights at 6, and, conse- 
quently, it is assumed that such a machine will not only rotate, 
but also be sufficient to perform a certain amount of work. 
The engraving requires tiie further explanation that the arms 
or levers are in sets of four, with distinct inclined planes, and, 
consequently, forty such levers require ten inclined planes. 

The title of a small German work may be translated the 
' Idea and Description of a Continual Motion, or a so-called 
Perpetuum Mobile, founded on mechanical principles^ and ex- 
plained by drawings and calculations,'* 1833. It has one 
engraved plate exhibiting thirteen diagrams showing the rol- 
ling of a cylinder up and down an inclined plane, which may 
have either a smooth or an indented surface. The self-satis- 
fied nameless author treats of this inapplicable method as 
being so easy of application to general machinery as to re- 
quire no further details than those he has afforded in his six- 
teen pages of theories, assumptions, and calculations I 

The 'Mechanics' Magazine'f for 1845 quotes the following 

* * Idee und Bescbreibung einer furtwahrenden Bewegung oder eines 
agenannten Perpetuum Mobile. Auf mechanische principien gegriindet 
und mit beigefiigten Zeichnuugen und Berechnungen erlautert fur 
Liebhaber der Physik von einem Liebhaber derselben/ 12°. Quedlin- 
burg und Leipzig. 1833. 

t * Mechanics' Magazine/ vol. xlii. 8vo. 1845. See p. 79. 

174 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

article from the 'Morning Herald' newspaper, given under 
the head of *' Steam-power Superseded/' and which is stated 
to have been famished by ' a ^cten^i^c correspondent ;' most 
likely the infatuated patentee himself. It states that :^ 

* For centuries upon centuries, till within our own days, 
water, as the origin of motive power, has had the supremacy 
over steam. For the last forty or fifty years steam has been 
making rapid strides towards the complete subjugation of the 
power of water ; but, like all unnatural or forced operations, 
its victory appears near its end, and the power of water once 
more assumes its wonted superiority, and eclipses once more 
and for ever the power of steam. 

' No one can be surprised at this who reflects that, while 
the power or laws of matter are innate or inherent, the power 
of steam is only acquired, and may be said to be artificial or 
unnatural, being forced by the ingenuity of man into that 
state upon which its power entirely depends. 

' We have been led into these remarks by the circumstance 
of having been favoured with the inspection of an invention 
for which a patent has lately been taken out ; and if we may 
be permitted to judge of it from the opinions of some of our 
leading scientific men, who have investigated it, and who de- 
clare tibat " they cannot (however astounding its effects) see 
any error or fallacy in it, or any reason why it should not 
answer," we must look upon its success as certain. 

' But what inspires us with even more confidence is, that 
while the structure of the new invention is so extremely simple 
that a child may comprehend it, it does not violate any one 
law in natural philosophy. Moreover, the inventor (a pro- 
fessional gentleman) is a man of scientific acquirements, well 
acquainted with Nature's laws, and perfectly aware of the va- 
rious inventions and the causes of their, failure, which have 
of late years been devised for the purpose of superseding steam, 
whether by condensed air, water-power, mechanical contriv- 
ances, electricity, &c. He does not, he says, pretend to have 
created power ; this, he properly observes, is impossible, but 
has merely availed himself of those laws or properties with 
which the Creator has endowed matter, and by a combination 
of the same to make them (as the inventors of steam-engines, 
water-mills, &c., have) subservient to the use of man. 


' The fundamental principle on which the new engine is 
founded is precisely similar to that of the hydraulic press, the 
power of which, every one knows, can only be limited by the 
strength of the materials of which it is made. But what has 
hitherto rendered the power of the hydraulic press inappli- 
cable to the production of motive power is, that, just in pro- 
portion as the power is gained speed is lost, and vice versa. In 
the present invention, however, unlimited power is gained 
without the loss of speed, the piston of the large cylinder tra- 
velling, at each stroke, with tibe power gained, just the same 
distance as the piston of the lesser cylinder. This power and 
this speed, which are in inverse ratio of each other, appear 
by this most important invention (however paradoxical) 
actually combined. 

* We are not at liberty to give the public a more particular 
account of the nature of this invention than the words of the 
title of the patent, viz. : — " The Hydro-Mechanic Apparatus, 
which, by a combination of hydraulic and mechanical proper- 
ties, on well-known scientific principles, is intended to super- 
sede the use of fire and steam in working and propelling all 
kinds of machinery and engines" — thus effecting an enormous 
saving, and avoiding the imminent danger arising from the 
explosive nature of steam. 

' It may well be asked, where will human ingenuity end ?' 
On this the editor of the ' Mechanics' Magazine ' remarks : — 
The patentee of this wonderful invention is 'William 
Wilcocks Sleigh, of St. James's Square, M.D.' We know 
nothing of the afG&ir, beyond what is here disclosed ; but if 
we may form an opinion of it from the superlative nonsense 
with which the Herald's ^scientific (!) correspondent' has 
introduced it to the notice of the world, we should say it is 
not worth a rush. ' Unlimited power.' Unlimited fudge ! 

A notice of Dr. Sleigh's patent for 1845 appears in ' Per. 
Mob.,' First Series, p. 446, and his other patents for im- 
provements on the engine, will be found both in the same 
and likewise the present Series. 

Vogel's* 'Hydrostatic general mobile 'is described and 
illustrated in a pamphlet, from which we select the illustra- 

* A. F. Vogers * Entdeckung eines bydrostatischen General-Mobils 
Oder Perpetuum Mobile.* 8vo. Leipzig, 1847. 


tioD, Fig. 10 — B w&tei-wheel, A, B, C, D, raisiug the water 
by meauB of which it ie to be operated. This is effected, be 

snppoees, b; the wheel acting at A, by the presBiire of one of 
six pins D, on a vertical rod, attached to a horizontal beam, 


working on a centre, and its opposite end being secured to 
the pump-rod of the barrel M, N. The projector has an idea 
that by means of flaps, which close the cells of the wheel as 
they pass under rollers at B, while at C there is a similar 
contrivance to open the flaps and let out the water, and there- 
fore by its retention on the descending side it will become 
more effective in turning the wheel. 

We give the following coiQmunication verbatim as it ap- 
peared in Silliman's 'American Journal of Science' for 

Abt. XVI. — On the relation of the Laws op Mechanics 
TO Perpetual Motion. By Jeremiah Day,| late President 
of Yale College. 

I cannot engage to furnish any infiBdlible remedy, for the 
mortifying disappointments which abound in this fascinating 
fleld of investigation ; yet it may not be altogether a waste of 
time to pay some little attention to a subject which has levied 
such heavy contributions on the inventive faculties of modem 
mechanicians and philosophers. The hints which I propose 
to suggest will be principally on the nature of perpetual mo- 
tion, the henefits to be expected from it, the difficulties to be 
encountered by the inventors, and the methods by which we 
may form an opinion whether it has been actually attained. 

Perpetual motion is a motion continued without ceasing, 
and without any renewed application of force. A machine 
may be said to possess a principle of perpetual motion, if it 
continues to move, as long as it is kept in repair ; and if it 
requires no new force to be applied to it from without. It is 

* * The American Journal of Science and Arts.' Conducted by Pro- 
fessors B. Silliman, B. Silliman, jun., and James D. Dana. Second 
Series. Vol.x. November, 1850. 8yo. New Haven. Seepages 174-184. 

t Messrs. Editors. — ^If it be consistent with the purpose of your 
valuable Journal to admit upon its pages a paper which offers to the 
attention of the readers nothing original, no newly-discovered principles 
of science, no improved combinations of machinery, the following plain 
thoughts on the application of the established laws of mechanics to the 
subject ol perpetual motion are at your disposal. 

Very respectftdly yours, &c., 

New Haven, July, 1850. J. Day. 


178 PERPETUUM mobile; 

no part of the requisition concerning perpetual motion that 
the machinery should never be out of repair. K it goes when 
it is in order, that is all that is demanded. What is looked 
for is not perfection in the construction of the apparatus, but 
an unfailing moving force. On the other hand, it is required 
that this force belongs to the machine itself ; that it be not 
an application &om without. A stream of water may run 
continually. It may be applied to turn the wheel of a mill. 
It may in this way bec(»ne a never-failing moving force. If 
the mill could be kept always m repair, the stream might be 
sufficient to turn it as long as the world stands. But this is 
not what is meant by the perpetual motion of a machine, as 
the expression is commonly used. The moving force is here 
no part of the mill ; it is applied from without. What is 
wanted is a principle of motion within the machine itself; or, 
at least, so connected with it, as to accompany it wherever 
it may be moved. 

It is further expected that the moving force should require 
no new supply of materiah to keep it in motion. In the 
steam-engine the moving force is within the machine ; and 
its agency may be continued without interruption. But a 
constant supply of fuel is necessary to keep it in operation ; 
and there is a continual demand for labour to famish the 
fuel. To save this expense of materials and labour is the 
very pui^ose for which perpetual motion is wanted. 

It is this which renders the proposed invention so highly 
important. Extravagant as the expectations of many aident 
inventors may appear, there is reason to believe that in this 
case they would be more than realized, if the long-sought-for 
principle could once be laid hold of and brought into general 
operation. It would be of no great use, perhaps, to produce 
an instrument which would merely go, a wheel, for instance, 
which would revolve continually witiiout having force enough 
to result in any valuable product. A saw-mill which would 
run of itself would be an object of curiosity ; but would be 
of very little practical use if the saw merely played up and 
down without cutting the timber. The force which is neces- 
sary to put a machine in motion is generally much less than 
that which is requisite to accomplish the object for which the 
machine is constructed. But there is reason to believe that 
if a perpetual moving force could once be discovered, it 


might be increased to any desirable extent ; that if a power 
coidd be found which would continually overbalance the re- 
sistance of the air and the friction of the parts of the appa- 
ratus, it might be so multiplied as to produce any of the 
effects for which force is required in the arts. If, for in- 
stance, the moving principle were a weight, and ten pounds 
so applied as to preserve an uninterrupted motion of &e ma- 
chine, a hundred pounds would accomplish much more. As 
the weight might be easily enlarged to almost any extent 
whatever, there would scarcely be any bounds to the effects 
to be produced. The vast expense now incurred in provid- 
ing reservoirs of water, in producing steam, in procuring 
labour, &c., as moving forces, might be wholly dispensed 
with. In the various manufacturing establishments in this 
country, and in Europe, millions of dollars might be saved in 
a single year. The invention might be considered a mine of 
wealth, even to a nation. It would not, perhaps, necessarily 
follow that a power which would put in operation a standing 
machine, as a mill or manufacturing establishment, would be 
adapted to the progressive motion of a plow or cos^h. But 
it would seem less difficult to make such an application of a 
moving force than to originate the force itself. If this addi- 
tional improvement could be effected, our oxen and our draft; 
horses might be relieved from their labours ; our carriages 
would be seen rolling through the streets of themselves ; and 
we should be brought near to the state of perfectibility pre- 
dicted by Godmin, when a plow need only to be let loose 
into a field to accomplish the work of tillage. 

Mankind have not been insensible to the immense ad- 
vantages to be derived from perpetual motion. There is, 
perhaps, no one subject on which ifie inventive faculties have 
more frequently been called into exercise. It is doubtful 
whether a single year, or even a single week, has passed for 
centuries in which it has not occupied the earnest attention 
of some one. Many are probably employed in the search 
who never disclose their attempts to the public. They have 
a double motive for keeping the secret : on the one hand, to 
secure to themselves the rewards of their success ; on the 
other, to conceal their disappointment in case of a failure. 
Persons of various descriptions and occupations have been 
engaged in the pursuit. The man of science and the illite- 

N 2 

180 PERPETUUM mobile; 

rate mechanic have both eagerly contended for the prize, and 
generally with equal success. 

It is natural to inquire what can be the cause which has 
produced such universal failure, when the zeal for attaining 
the object has been so ardent and so long continued. What 
are the difficulties which with so provoking a pertinacity un- 
ceasingly throw themselves in the way of the sanguine inven- 
tor ? It would be in vain to attempt to enumerate all the 
obstacles which a subject so fruitful in disappointments pre- 
sents. They will vary according to the means T^Jjich are used 
to effect the object, and according to the characArs of the 
different projectors. The man of science will be liable to 
embarrassments of one kind ; the mere mechanician, to those 
of another. The chief impediments in the way of the man of 
science are certain general principles, denominated laws of 
Nature. His ingenuity is exercis^ in endeavouring to evade 
these ; but they obstinately meet him at every turn ; and in 
spite of all his windings he finds himself brought back to the 
same ground from which he started. 

Nothing but what is capable of producing motion can be 
the cause of perpetual motion. The moving forces which are 
commonly applied to machines are weights, springs, running 
water, steam, wind, and the strength of animals. Of these, 
water, wind, and animal strengib cannot produce what is 
commonly meant by perpetual motion, because they are not 
constituent parts of the machine. They are forces applied 
from without. But steam, springs, and weights, may belong 
to the machine itself. Of these, the weight of a heavy body 
is that which is generally made use of to produce perpetual 
motion. A weight is a very simple moving force, and may 
be made very powerful. The only dif&culty with respect to 
it is that it produces its effect only by descending ; and that 
when it reaches the ground its operation ceases. K it could 
be made to descend, and then ascend with the same force, it 
might keep a machine in perpetual action. 

The difficulty is not, as some seem to have supposed, that 
a weight can move a body in one direction only. It can pro- 
duce motion in any direction ; not, indeed, by mere pressure, 
but by the aid of some very simple apparatus, for instance, a 
cord passing over a pulley. Notiiing is easier than to change 
the direction in which a given power is to act upon the ob- 


ject to be moved. A weight may make a body either ascend 
or descend, or move horizontally. But the real difficulty is 
that the power will not move at all after it has reached the 
ground. Its operation then ceases entirely. The great thing 
wantjed is not a change in the direction, but a contintmnce of 
the motion. 

Neither does the obstacle to perpetual motion consist in 
the law that matter is incapable of originating motion in 
itself, or of effecting any change in its own motions. The 
dif&culty lies not in beginning the motion, but in rendering it 
perpetual. The labour and expense of merely putting a ma- 
chine in operation would be of no account if the movement 
would only continue. Now, the first law of motion, instead 
of obstructing the continuance of the action, is the very prin- 
ciple on which that continuance depends, unless there is a 
renewed application of external force. There is one known 
instance of actual perpetual motion, the revolution of the 
heavenly bodies. This is owing to the fact that they are in- 
capable of putting a stop to their own motion, and that there 
is nothing else to stop them. But if matter were endowed, 
like animals, with a principle of voluntary motion it would 
be as easy for it to cease to move at pleasure, as to begin to 
move. It would then be as difficult to produce perpetual 
motion in a machine, as in a horse or an elephant. 

Some of the principles which really stand in the way of 
the inventors of perpetual motion are the following : — 

1. In every machine there is some loss of motion from 
friction and the resistance of the air ; and commonly a much 
greater loss from the expenditure of force in producing the 
effect for which the machine is designed. When a certain 
momentum is given to a body it will continue the same till 
there is some cause to vary it. A wheel suspended freely on 
an axis would revolve with a uniform velocity if friction and 
the resistance of the air could be entirely removed. Per- 
petual motion would then be a thing of course. But these 
obstructions it is impossible to avoid ; and they necessar^y 
occasion a continual loss of motion. 

In addition to this, a machine to answer any practical pur- 
pose must not only go, but it must also be capable of a con- 
stant expenditure of force upon the effect to be produced. A 
slitting mill, for instance, must not only be kept in mo- 


tion, but must fumisli a contmnal supply of force to separate 
the iron. The loss of motion on this account is £ur greater 
than that occasioned by friction and resistance of the air. 
Both must be compensated by a renewal of force from some 
quarter or other. It is the aim of the inventor of perpetual 
motion so to arrange his apparatus that this new supply shall 
be famished from the madiine itself ; that it slisJl not be 
dependent on any application from wiijiout. But in attempt- 
ing to accomplish this object he finds himself under the neces- 
sity of encountering a second unaccommodating principle. 

2. Every body which communicates motion to another, loses 
an equal portion of its own motion. In other words, action 
and reaction are equal. It follows from this, that no portion 
of matter can communicate to another a greater momentum 
than it possesses itself. If that part of a machine in which 
the moving force begins to act could produce in another part 
a motion greater than its own, we might obtain a multiplica- 
tion of force ; and in this way we might secure a sui^lus, to 
supply the deficiency occasioned by friction, &c. But after 
all the trials which have been made upon bodies in every 
conceivable variety of condition, they obstinately refuse to 
communicate what they do not themselves possess. On this 
&ct iB founded a third W>:tant principle. ^ 

3. No combination of machinery produces any real increase 
of force. This is the fact with respect to each of the instru- 
ments called mechanical powers taken singly ; and it is equally 
true, in whatever way they may be combined with each other. 
The use of all apparatus of this kind is not to create force, 
nor to increase it, but merely to apply it. It is true, indeed, 
that a mechanical power may be so contrived, that a small 
weight may raise a very great one. But it will raise it a very 
short distance only. If one is a thousand times as large as 
the other, the latter must descend a thousand feet to raise the 
former one foot. So that the momentum of the large body is 
no greater than that of the smaller one. There is, therefore, 
no increase of force obtained. 

One or two cautions are necessary, however, in estimating 
the velocities of the power and the weight. In the first place, 
the velocity is to be reckoned in that direction in which the 
moving forc^ of the body acts. Thus, if a body moves down 
an inclined plane, the moving force is gravitation, which acts 


towards the centre of the earth. The velocity, when we are 
calculating the equilibrium, must be estimated in this direc- 
tion. In the second place, there must be brought into the 
account, thai part only of the power which is concerned in 
producing the effect. K a weight aqt obliquely on the arm of 
a lever, a part of its force will be lost. This must be thrown 
out of the estimate. 

With these qualifications, we shall find, that however com- 
plicated may be the apparatus, the power will be the weight in 
equilibrio, as the velocity of the weight to the velocity of the 
power. As their momenta are equal, there is no increase of force 
produced by the machinery. This is a proposition, however, 
which one who is in the pursuit of perpetual motion cannot be 
brought fully to believe, till he hais learned it by mortifying 
experience. He expects, by some peculiar arrangement of his 
levers, and wheels, and inclined planes, to make it appear that 
this is only a theoretical maxim, intended to answer the purpose 
of speculc^ve philosophy. He seeks after modes of combina- 
tion which may vary, as much as possible, from those already 
in use, that he may fall upon the grand secret, in some mys-» 
terious disposition of parts, which has hitherto escaped obser- 
vation. But the effect of all this is commonly to diminish the 
power which he wishes to increase. For although, according 
to the received laws of mechanics, no combination of machinery 
will create force ; yet it is very easy, by an unskilful arrange- 
ment, to destroy motion. 

After all, the projector finds an unfailing source of motion 
in the weight of a very heavy body. Though he may a(^ow- 
ledge, perhaps, that machinery will not of itseK produce force, 
yet he considers that gravitation is a power which is perpetu- 
ally operating, and that, if he can only arrange his apparatus 
so as to catch this force, and apply it to his use, he has all 
that he wants. He here finds a very important exception 
to the general law, that a body is incapable of putting itself 
in motion. Matter has a continual and powerful tendency to 
move towards the earth. A body needs only to be left to itself, 
to descend with a force proportioned to its weight. But he is 
• driven even from this refuge, by a fourth general principle. 

4. A body, hy its weiglUy communicates motion in no other 
way than by descending ; and that when it has once reached 
the earth, its operation ceases, till it be raised dp again, with 

184 PERPETUUM mobile; 

a force equal to that with wluch it descended. This does not 
mean that a body can, in no case, communicate motion except 
by descending itself. A heavy body moving in any direction 
may impel another in the same direction. A cannon ball may 
drive before it the object which it strikes. This is not done, 
however, by the weight of the ball, but by the momentum 
which it has received from a foreign force. What we are now 
considering is the motion produced by the gravity of the body, 
not that which is occasioned by the application of mechanical 
force from without. Neither does the principle just stated 
imply that a body may not, hy its weight, cause another body 
to move in any direction except towards the earth. The weight 
in one scale of a balance may cause those in the other side to 
rise. But to do this it must itself descend. Nor, in the third 
place, is it to be understood that a body cannot by its weight 
have an effect of any kind without descending. It may, even 
in a state of rest, have great influence in preventing motion. 
It may be a powerful resisting force, but it is not then a moving 
force. In preserving the equilibrium of bodies at rest, very 
great advantage may be derived from the application of the 
instruments called mechanical powers. By means of a lever 
or inclined plane, one pound may be made to balance a thou- 
sand. Archimedes might have held a world in equilibrio. But 
the moment the lever is put in motion, the comparative im- 
portance of the smaller body is lost. What is gained in weight 
is lost in velocity. 

With these explanations we may consider the principle as 
univeral that no body produces motion by its weight, except 
by descending. If, for instance, a heavy body is laid upon 
an inclined plane, this plane may move horizontally. But 
unless the weight descends, the motion of the plane is owing 
to some other cause than the pressure of this weight. 

Now, the great difficulty in making the gravity of a body 
a source of perpetual motion is, that the body must soon reach 
the ground, that in descending it acquires only a certain de- 
gree of momentum, that it can communicate no greater mo- 
mentum to the machine, and that, in order to repeat the 
operation, there must be a force at least equal to this to bring 
it back to the height from which it has descended. There is, 
therefore, no force at all derived from the weight, except 
during the period of a single descent, and that only equal to 


the power which had been applied to raise it up to the point 
of starting. It will be said, perhaps, that the weight may be 
made to restore itself, that it may acquire a velocity in falling 
sufficient to raise it to the same height again. So it may. 
The ball of a pendulum may raise itseK to the same point 
from which it started, or nearly so. But it can do nothing 
more. The force acquired in the descent will be all expended 
in the ascent. There will be nothing left to be applied to 
any machinery. 

There is no avoiding of this result, unless some way can 
be contrived to make a body either acquire a greater force by 
fSftlling, or expend less in rising. No method has yet been 
devised to bring a body to the ground by its weight with a 
greater force than that which it acquires by falling perpendi^ 
calmly. It may be made to roll down an inclined plane, to 
descend on the arc of a circle, on the arm of a lever, or along 
a series of lines differently inclined to the horizon. But in 
every such case, though it is easy to diminish the force of the 
descent ; yet there is no way of increasing it but by the ap- 
plication of a foreign impulse. On the other hand, a body 
can by no device be raised up to its original height but by a 
power equivalent to that which it acquires in descending. 
There is, according to the received laws of mechanics, no way 
in which it may be brought back again with a less expenditure 
of force than that which is necessary to raise it up perjpendi- 
cularly. It maybe carried round in such a manner as to 
employ a grecUer power ; but nothing less than this will be 
sufficient to restore it. 

But may not advantage be taken of some of the mechanical 
powers to effect the object with more economy of force. Sup- 
pose the weight be made to descend on the long arm of the 
lever, and to ascend on the short arm. If one be twice as 
long as the other, may not one pound raise nearly two 
pounds? It may. But it will raise them only half as far as 
it moves itseK, so that nothing is gained by this expedient. 
Such is the uniform result of the projector's devices to bring 
up his weight with a less force than that which it acquires in 
falling perpendicularly. Like the stone of Sisyphus, in spite 
of all his efforts, it is for ever rolling back upon him. 

We shall be brought to the same conclusion by another 
view of the subject. No body of machinery has any tendency 


to move by its weight any longer than this motion will cause 
the centre of gravity to descend. This is a principle of very 
convenient application, because it brings ns at once to the 
result. We are under no necessity of inquiring into the 
peculiar structure of the machine. Whatever be the arrange- 
ment of the parts as soon as the centre of gravity of fiie 
whole has reached the lowest point the motion will cease, ex- 
cept that it may continue awhile from the momentum already 

We may upon this principle easily perceive the defect of 
those numerous perpendicular «;^;8 which have been formed 
with cavities in the radii or other parts, so as to contain fluids 
or balls rolling alternately to and from the centre. The 
object here is to have the weights near the aaia while they 
are ascending, and near the periphery when descending, so as 
to act upon tibe principle of the wheel and axis. The fallacy 
is the same here, as in the longer and shorter arms of the 
lever. But to detect this there is no necessity of examining 
the particular structure. Whatever be the disposition of the 
parts, when the centre of gravity of the wheel and its con- 
tents has reached the lowest point, the tendency to move 
from the weight is at an end. The defect of the contrivance 
is also evident, from the consideration that as the wheel re- 
volves each of the balls must rise to a certain heigJU, and it is 
immaterial by what route it arrives there, whether by going 
round on the periphery, or taking a shorter course near the 

Similar difficulties will be presented, if instead of the 
weight of a solid body we substitute the pressure of a fluid. 
According to what is called the hydrostatic paradox a pound 
of water may balance and set in motion a quantity ever so 
great. But the motion will not, perhaps, be more than a 
^ousandth part of an inch before the effect will cease. 

After dwelling so long upon the weight as a moving force, 
it will not be necessary to enter into a particular considera- 
tion of the action of springs. The dif&culty in the two cases 
is nearly the same. A spring which is coiled up as in a 
watch produces its effect by expanding. When it is unbent, 
its action ceases till it is wound up again ; and to wind it up 
requires a force equal to that with which it expands. There 
iSy therefore, no balance lefk for the purposes of machinery. 


In the case of steam the continuance of the motion is to 
be sought for, not upon mechanical but upon chemical prin* 
ciples. Here, perhaps, there is more reason to hope, because 
the ground ha>s not been so long .and so thoroughly explored. 
But it is not ii^iprobable that the balance of canities in che- 
mistry will prove to be as untractable as the balance of mo- 
menta in mechanics. A similar remark may be applicable to 
the imponderable agents, electricity, galvanism, and mag- 

Some of the difficulties which lie in the way of the man 
of science in his pursuit after perpetual motion have now been 
stated. But perhaps this is not the class of persons which 
are most likely to succeed in this field of investigation. . The 
invention, if it should ever be made, may proceed from some 
one who has little or no knowledge of the laws of mechanics. 
The philosopher commences the inquiry with ardour; but 
soon stumbles upon one of his unyielding general principles, 
and then abandons the pursuit as hopeless. The uninformed 
mechanic is not so easily disheartened. If he fails in one 
attempt, he sees no reason why he should not succeed in the 
next. Perseverance supplies the want of skill. His very 
blunders may turn to his advantage by leading to combina- 
tions of machinery, which a person of more scientific views 
would have rejected without trial. He, however, is not ex- 
empt from embarrassments. They are mostly of a nature 
not to be particularly described. But they all terminate in 
one ; his machine won't go. 

It must be acknowledged, however, that although this is 
the general result, it is not universal. There is, here and 
there, a solitary exception. A man, after years of thought, 
and toil, and disappointment, finds at length the object of all 
his wishes attaint His machine goes. His labours are at 
an end. His fortune and his fame are secured. He has 
shown himself superior to all the pretenders to science and 
mechanical skill. His name is to go down to posterity, in 
the same rank with Bacon and Newton. But in the intoxi- 
cation of success, one thing seems to have escaped him. He 
has forgotten that all motion is not perpetual motion. His 
machine stops. His dream is ended ; and he awakes, to the 
realities of ilie life of a sober mechanic. 

Must we then be driven to the conclusion, that perpetual 

188 PBRPBTUUM mobile; 

motion is absolutely and for ever impossible ? Shall we 
obstinately close our eyes and ears against all proof which 
may be offered of its actual existence ? Shall we reject the 
testimony of our senses, when we see the machine really in 
motion? When a man professes to have made the great 
discovery, and calls upon us to accede to his pretensions, we 
have a right to suspend our opinion, till he has made good 
his claim, either by showing the principle on which it depends, 
or by furnishing the proof by actual trial. If a new principle 
is advanced, in opposition to those hitherto received, we may 
safely admit it, when it has stood the test of as thorough 
an investigation as they have. The established laws of 
mechanics have been the subject of strict examination for 
centuries; they have been turned in almost every conceiv- 
able point of view, for the very purpose of eliciting from 
them perpetual motion ; they have been scrutinized by the 
profoundest mathematicians, and the most skilful experi- 
menters; they have been put to the trial in a thousand 
different forms of machinery. Almost every mechanical in- 
strument now in use exhibits experimental proof of their 
soundness. When any new principle can plead as much in 
its favour, it may fairly be put in competition with the old 

But the inventor, though he may not boast of theory on his 
side, has that which is of far greater importance, the support 
of fold. His machine goes. So does a time-piece go. It 
may be made to go, for a whole year together, without being 
wound up. But this is not perpetual motion. In a clock, a 
force is wanted to supply the loss from friction. If the in- 
strument is nicely constructed, this loss may be very small. 
A large weight may furnish the requisite supply, for a long 
time, without coming to the ground. But when it has de- 
scended as far as it can, its power is exhausted, and the motion 
ceases. To determine from trial whether any particular ma- 
chine has an unfedling principle of action, we must wait till 
the force first applied has had time to spend itself. K we 
are impatient to come to a more speedy decision, there is a 
way in which the point may be soon settled. The apparatus 
may be so well adjusted, tiiat it may take weeks or months, 
perhaps, to exhaust the moving force, in merely overcoming 
the fnction. But let it be required to do something more. 


Instead of merely going, let it be applied to some practical 
purpose. Let it be employed, for instance, in the grinding 
of grain, or the sawing of timber. In proportion as the 
resistance is increased, the time of its action will be short- 
ened, if, like other machines, it is dependent on a renewed 
application of force from without. But if it possesses a per- 
petuating principle, this may be made to supply that part of 
the loss of momentimi which proceeds from the resistance of 
the grain or the timber, as well as that which is owing to 
friction and the air. In this manner, the instrument may be 
brought to the test of experiment in a very short time. 

With respect to any supposed invention, in years past, of 
an instrument for perpetual motion, we have only to inquire 
whether it is now in operation in our manufacturing esta* 
bKshments of every description ; whether our mills and 
forges, our steamboats and our railroad-cars, are actually 
moved by it. An improvement which is to produce so com- 
plete a revolution in practical mechanics could not long be 
concealed or confined to the inventor. It would be coveted 
and circulated as eagerly as a bank of guineas. A man pro- 
fesses to have discovered an inexhaustible treasure. He has 
unfolded a secret which thousands have sought for in vain. 
He has opened a mine of gold which is accessible to every 
one. Its value is beyond all computation. And yet, strange 
to tell, it lies neglected and forgotten, neither wrought by 
himself nor by any one else. 

In 1850-53, a treatise in two parts, the first appearing anony- 
mously, was published by their author, Christopher August 
Herrich,*a lawyer, who professes himself * devoted to mathe- 
matical and physical knowledge.' His work was * Instruction 
for the Manufacture of a Mechanical Perpetual Motion ;' and 
he states he had himself constructed an imperfect model with 
wood and pasteboard. He cites various authorities whose 
opinions are contrary to his own, giving full references to 
the Dictionaries of Fechner, 1841 ; Gehler, 1833 ; Erunitz ; 
Pierer, 1835; Wolff, 1734; the elementary treatises by 

* C. A. Herrioh. * An leitung zur Verfertlgung eines Meohanischen 
Perpetuum Mobile/ Two Parts, 4to. Kegensburg, 1850-53. 


Eastner, 1792; and Scholz, 1827; besides Eant, Poppa, 
TehiijWuiider, and Memoirs of the Academy of France, 1776 ; 
thus offering great promise from such evident acquaintance 
with prevailing scientific opinions, and after assuring his 
readers that he had experienced twenty-two years of fruitless 
toil. But how sad is the result. We have here a quarto 
pamphlet of forty-six pages, with six copper-plates showing 
eighteen figures to illustrate the principle and construction 
of the machine; but so verbose is the description and so 
wretchedly is it put together, that it is impossible 'to convey 
in a moderate space any adequate idea of what the inventor 
proposes. In the first place the principal engraving represents 
three pulleys above with two below them, having an endless 
band which, after passing over the top centre pulley, winds left 
and right around each lower pulley and thence passes over the 
top of each of the upper three pulleys. The intended course of 
these pulleys is indicated by darts, but by what means motion 
is to be communicated is quite a mystery; and any means, 
short of external agency, would be baffled by the Mction con- 
sequent in employing such an absurd combination of pulleys, 
levers, and bands as is here exhibited. 

In 1867, J. C. Grardner circulated a pamphlet bearing 
simply the title of * Perpetual Motion,'* the preface of which 
commences : — * The object of the author in publishing this 
pamphlet will be easily understood, when it is stated that it is 
now twenty-one years since he discovered, as he contends, the 
true principle by which Motive power can be obtained.' But 
he has had to encounter the old difficulties of a want of ' the 
requisite fands,' and the apathy of ' persons of means or in- 
fluence,' to render him requisite assistance. In addition he 
has to complain of there being ' such a strong prejudice upon 
the question, that even able men are often indisposed to con- 
sider any subject out of the beaten track requiring pains- 
taking thought.' The late Dr. Whewell when applied to 
♦ • Perpetual Motion.' [John C. Gardner.] 12mo. 1807. 


respecting the author's plan, absolutely revised ' even to look 
at it r However, ' In some instances, gentlem^ have kindly 
consented to do so,' that is, to inspect the plan. After all, 
only four out of his visitors were able to meet the author with 
something better than the ordinary ^objections confined to 
generalities,' arising from the incapacity of the mass 'to show 
where the plan was wrong.' Tet, says the author, ' nothing 
is so easy, if there is a mistaJce, as to put your finger upon it.' 
The plan has been examined by the late Professor Baden 
Powell and Dr. Neill Amott, from which ' it will be seen that 
the very highest authorities in the land have sat in judgment 
upon it.' The author's present pages are an answer to ' objec- 
tions raised by those gentlemen.' He suggests * that in these 
days of misapplied assistance, when every impostor and delu- 
sion can get aid and countenance, a little might well be diverted 
from unwise to wiser purposes ; and if a few gentlemen would 
each contribute a very moderate sum the invention could be 
utilized at once.' But how does this tally with the previous 
statement, to the effect that ' it would cost a considerable sum 
of money to construct a working model of the plan ?' He 
even compares the dif&culty and cost to something like the 
production of a steam-engine for the first time in the present 
day, assuming such an engine to be unknown. Much need- 
less expenditure of energies and money would arise if others, 
situated like Mr. G^dner, would only seriously ponder and act 
on his concluding reflection that ' leisure and the absence of 
care are absolutely necessary to enable a man to go properly 
into the question.' He only omits to say that, the final result 
of the seeker's researches, however mortifying, it is no small 
consolation to himself that his labours have been inimical to 
indolence, and caused no pecuniary loss, or mental anxiety 
to any other individual. 

The author could not have better expressed his own high 
position than when he opens his essay by saying — * This is a 
subject which has occupied the attention of ingenious men in 

192 PEBPETHUM mobile; 

all ages, bnt hitherto without any result.' How delightful to 
be at last able, to exclaim Eureka! 

Speaking personally, the anthor observes : — * Many years 
ago he was led to consider this subject. At that time he was 
without scientific books, and laboured under many other dis- 
advantages, his knowledge being extremely limited in all that 
related to matters connected with the inquiry. But what he 
looked for was a principley and not a machine ; and he sought 
in the first instance for the roughest possible exemplification 
of it, feeling thoroughly assured that if he could only find a 
way, however crude and seemingly non-utilizable, of obtain- 
ing by a given expenditure of power a greater mechanical 
return, that there must be ways and means of making a prac- 
tical use of it. In short, he relied upon the wisdom of Nature 
— that she does not deal in conjuror's tricks, and is not fickle.' 
In 1846 it occurred to him — Suppose that instead of steam 
there was water acting under a pressure, say of compressed 
air, the velocity of the piston would be nothing like so great; 
and if, under those circumstances, the cylinder was moved by 
a second and independent power /a«^^ than the issuing stream 
of water (supposing that there was no piston), that then * the 
work done or duty would be greater than the efi&ciency of the 
agent.' This statement leads to various calculations and 

observations, together with objections by Messrs. B ,, 

H , S , and others, concluding — * The applications and 

ramifications of the principle are so numerous that it would 
be useless to attempt to describe them all, even if the writer 
had the requisite means and time at his command.' At page 
43, Aerial Navigation,' is considered as * a necessary con- 
sequence of Perpetual Motion.' It is quite impossible to 
make out anything comprehensible from the author's state- 
ments, tables, and diagrams, beyond the simple fact of sheer 
incompetency to deal with the subject under consideration. 




EuMOUBS of strange discoveries of any kind readily find a 
place in the columns of the daily press, but in the present 
day they seldom refer to Perpetual Motion. Now and then 
some enthusiast applies to a Government office, or perpetuates 
the foolishness of his mechanical ideas in a pamphlet, or 
addresses professional men for advice, or leaves to posterity 
some token of his mechanical blundering, or seeks to blind 
the ignorant public to patronize some impudent imposition. 

Such miscellaneous information as we have met with bear- 
ing these characteristics we have here brought together. 
The schemes themselves, if not put forth by absolutely 
designing persons, will be found either not to partake of 
the requisite arrangements proposed for a true perpetual 
motion ; or, when this latter property is kept in view, that 
the projector only shows how thoroughly he himself is 
stultified. The definition of Perpetual Motion most suitable 
to the comprehension of such crazed individuals, is the 
statement that. The pursuit in their hands is the study of 
mathematics, mechanics, hydraulics, pneumatics, and other 
sciences — backwards way. That is, where the professor, or 
the practical man may be said to leave off his education, or 
his apprenticeship, the mechanical enthusiast makes that 
his starting-point. He, in fact, builds his house from the 
roof downwards, and wonders it will not hold together ! 

Plaidallis, an impostor, exhibited in 1772, an arrange- 
ment consisting of a large bell-glass, with a short neck, 
opening at the top, which was stoppered by means of a small 
bell-shaped glass cap, sufficing to fit over and close it. The 
lower outer rim of the large bell-glass fitted into a round 


194 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

block of wood, as customary in covering time-pieces, or 
objects of art. Within there appeared a large metal globe 
suspended from the arched wire of two wire pillars. It had 
also a second arched wire suspended over it, terminating in 
small balls, like bullets, and beneath and beside the large 
ball were three bent strips of metal. James Ferguson, the 
astronomer, having seen it, notes in his * Common-Place 
Book,' page 255, that he considers it 'the most rational 
scheme for a perpetual motion,' — and observes of it generally 
that it ' has much the appearance of an electrical machine.' 
He also gives a drawing,* which has served to afford the 
present description. 

James Cox's barometrical clock, already noticed in * Per. 
Mob.,' First Series, page 330, is described in the catalogue f 
of his celebrated Museum, in 1774. After a pompous preface 
of six pages, he proceeds in the language of a showman to 
describe ' Piece the Fobty-Seventh,' The Perpetual Motion, 
— as follows : — • 

It is a mechanical and philosophical time-piece, which 
after great labour, numberless trials, unwearied attention, and 
immense expense, is at length brought to perfection ; from 
this piece, by an union of the mechanic and philosophic 
principles, a motion is obtained that will continue for ever ; 
and although the metals of steel and brass, of which it is 
constructed, must in time decay (a fate to which even the 
great globe itself, yea aU thai it inherit, are exposed), still the 
primary cause of its motion being constant, and the friction 
upon every part extremely insignificant, it will continue its 
action for a longer duration than any mechanical performance 
has ever been Imown to do. 

This extraordinary piece is something about the height, 
size, and dimensions of a common eight-day pendulum clock ; 

• Dr. E. Henderson, Ferguson's biographer, obligingly sent a copy, 
and directed attention to these particulars. 

t * A Descriptive Inventory of the several exquisite and magnificent 
pieces of Mechanism and Jewellery, compriz'd in the schedule annexed 
to an Act of Parliament, made in the 13th year of the Reign of His 
present Majesty George the Third ; for enabling Mr. James Cox, of the 
City of London, Jeweller, to dispose of his Museum by way of Lottery.' 
4to. 1774. 


the case is of mahogany, in the architectural style, with 
columns and pilasters, cornices and mouldings, of brass, 
finely wrought, richly gilt, and improv'd with the most 
elegantly adapted ornaments. It is glazed on every side, 
whereby its construction, the mode of its performance, and 
the masterly execution of the workmanship, may be discovered 
by the intelligent spectator. The time-piece is af&xed to 
the part, from whence the power is deriv'd; it goes upon 
diamonds, or (to speak more technically) is jewelled in every 
'part, where its friction could be lessened ; nor will it require 
any other assistance than the common regulation, necessary 
for any other time-keeper, to make it perform with the 
utmost exactness. Besides the hour and minute, there is a 
second hand, always in motion ; and to prevent the least idea 
of deception, as well as to keep out the dust, the whole is 
enclosed within frames of glass, and will be placed in the 
center of the Museum, for the inspection of every curious 

N.B. — The very existence of motion in the time-piece is 
originated, continued, and perfected from the philosophical 
principle, by which alone it acts. 

W. Stephen claims our notice for drawings which he has 
left us of his designs for perpetual motion through applica- 
tions of magnetism, and also of capillary attraction, which 
we can, however, only treat as early misconceptions, and offer 
them as a warning against pursuing similar attempts ; for it 
is evident that if such schemes as those were capable of 
proving anything, the proof could only relate to the perpetuity 
of the agent, and not of the mechanism sought. A feather 
retained in a constant current of air, would prove quite as 
much, that is, the constancy of the current as opposed to the 
inconstancy of the mechanical arrangement when rendered 
independent of such external agency. Stephen's sketches 
occur on the paper lining of the backs of a small quarto, 
entitled * Le Machine,' by G. Branca, 1629, in the Patent 
Office Library, having a fly-leaf inserted, on which is written 
' W. Stephen's Book, March 10th, 1799.' 

His first figure has the following written on one side of 

* ^^ 



it : — * Motion by Magnetism. W. S. — Eep : per duobns N idem 
tempore quod cessit Attr: apud (d^ et sic alitor et de, &c.' 


That is, the repulsion is twice through N in the same time 
that the attraction ceases at the §:^, and so on the contrary. 
This notice is obscure enough, but the next, marked — 'Magnets 
at the end of spiral springs,' appears without comment ; we 
can only surmise, therefore, that Stephen expected that the 
magnet N, on attracting an opposite magnet, or steel bar, 




would overweight the wheel, and thus continually present 
one after the other in succession, in like manner, thereby 
causing a continuous rotation ! 






His third scheme is a kind of telescopic pyramid, which 
probably consists of a series of short glass tubes, so arranged 
that one freely fits into the other, and pro- 
bably raised by inserting cotton, or other 
fibrous material. He has supplied the 
following references : — * A, Vessel filled 
with water ; B, A glass tube ; C, &c., ditto ; 
X, Capillary tube; O, Water issuing. 

D, must be the capillary tube, from 
which the water is here seen issuing, but 
which, if ever attempted to be obtained 
by W.S., must have sadly disappointed his 
fond hopes. 

There was exhibited at Frankfort, in the autumn of 1817, a 
self-acting pendulum clock, represented as a perpetual motion, 
being declared to have the motive power within itself. An 
account of it appeared in a small treatise ' On the so-called 
Perpetuum Mobile, particularly the pendulum self-acting clock 
of Greiser,' 1818.* Its author contends that although mathe- 
maticians are mostly opposed, they have not proved its im- 
possibility; and he refers to Eastner, Langdorf, and other 
great German mathematicians as remaining silent, or only 
declaring it to be difi&cult to attain. The inventor of the 
clock in question was J. Geiseb, of Lachandefone, NeufchateL 
His death is recorded as having taken place during an 
examination of the clock to repair some damage it had 

Paul Toth [Death], the proprietor of various patents, pub- 
lished in a German newspaper, 11th December, 1857, an 
account of his patent-water power, dated 30th September 
previous. He defines the motion as requiring parts that 

* 'Ueber das sogenannte Perpetuum Mobile besonders fiber die 
geiserische, sich selbst in gang erhaltende pendluhr. Mit einer abbil- 
dung/ (Pp. 80.) 12mo. Frankfort am Main. 1818. 


cannot last etemallj, but haTing the property to move eternally. 
He provides a turbine in a vacuum, by means of which a 
perpetual waterfall is rendered possible by this machine, that 
driveB a tnrbine in the vacuum, and this latter again, by 
means of a wheel on its axis, acts on a pump which raises 
the escaped water up again to the reservoir. The bent pipe 
D, E, has its end E, H, intercepted by the vacuum C. At the 
beginning, the small rope r, in the cistern A, B, is attached to 

the valves e, and g, which close the pipes D, and H, against air 
and water, and it is attached at f, to a hook. At the axis E, 
the pump-rod B, is, at the axis E, raised by Q ; and also the 
bevelled wheel M, is ferther moved so m to prevent its touch- 
ing at L. By means of Q, the axis E, and the eccentric N, 
attached to these, the snuill air-pump O, is put in motion, 
and thus attennates the air as much as possible in the 


cylinder of the lift; and the space C ; and this is repeated 

Then follow references to L, an air-tight stuffing box ; O, 
the small air-pump to pump out of the water the air con- 
stantly evolved ; and to these is added a strap or band. Thus 
is to be provided a perfect, continuous waterfall, nothing being 
requisite to keep it going beyond renewal of water to com- 
pensate for evaporation, and occasional repairs in consequence 
of ordinary wear and tear. After this the inventor assures 
us of the simplicity (foolishness ?) of his invention, absence of 
friction ! little liability to accident, and above all it is an 
engine devoid of danger, but still easy by malice to create 
danger, and therefore Paul Death recommends as advisable 
' to have it boxed and locked up.' Above all it requires no 
feeding or superintendence, like steam and other engines, and 
should it meet with any accident it may easily be repaired by 
a common artizan. But still farther to dissipate all doubts, 
the patentee accumulates and answers objections, and yet we 
opine that the one solitary objection, so fatal to its introduc- 
tion, remains unanswered, and that is, its dogged immobility, 
notwithstanding all these commendatory notices of its con- 
struction, character, and praiseworthy qualities. 

A work, with a portrait of the author, * William Mabtin, 
Natural Philosopher,' taken from a painting by H. P. Parker, 
was published in 182 1.| He was the brother of John Martin, 
the celebrated artist, and of Jonathan Martin, the incendiary, 
who attempted to fire York Cathedral. 

Its contents relate to the Moon, Earth, Stars; Polar Ice, 
Tides, Air, and Inventions. After quoting a verse from Genesis, 

* Mr. W. G. Atkinson, of the Pateiit OflBce, obligingly supplied the 
paragraph, cut from a German paper, affording the particulars here 
briefly stated. 

t * A new System of Natural Philosophy, on the principle of Per- 
petual Motion ; with a variety of other useful Discoveries. Patronised 
by his Grace the Duke of Northumberland/ By WilUam Martin, of 
Walls'-end, Northumberland. (Pp. 140.) 8vo. Printed by Preston and 
Heaton, Newcastle. 1821. 


he says, * the passage completely proves that Air is the real 
cause of the Perpetual Motion.' After rambling through 
sixty-four pages in a very rhapsodical strain he opens a 
chapter with ' William Martin's explanation of the Perpetual 
Motion.' He commences, ' Let a tube of two inches diameter 
communicate with the external air at the outside of the house, 
leading from thence to the inside of a receiver, &c., &c.' It 
is in fact nothing more that he proposes than an ivory ball 
affixed to a pendulum, which is to be kept in motion by the 
passage of the air. He confesses — ' The materials have little 
to do with it ; they are composed of inert matter, which if left 
undisturbed, would remain at rest as long as they endured ; 
but, under God, the great first cause, air, the secondary cause 
of all things, is the perpetual mover of this simple machine.' 

The following particulars from ' The Catalogue for 1843 
of The Eoyal Polytechnic Institution,' page 78, afford an 
interesting notice : — 

Upper West Room, No. 20. — This room contains a variety 
of curious and interesting machiliery of a novel description, 
patented by M. Moinau de Montauban. 

1859. — A clock propelled by a compensation wheel. 
This clock is kept in motion by a ball being placed in the cup 
on the outside of the wheel, causing the leverage to be one- 
fourth of the wheel only. The ball is returned to its original 
position by an Archimedes screw. It is so arranged that one 
ball is admitted on to the wheel every two hours. 

1860. — A Telegraphic Clock, moving by the power of a 
weight, which, pressing upon the wheel, answers the same 
purpose as the balls of No. 1859. 

1861. — A clock moving on the same system as No. 1859, 
but the balls of which are raised by means of a lever. 

1862.— A ditto, similar to .No. 1860. 

1868.— A ditto ditto. 

1864. — The several portions of machinery composing an 
apparatus called the " Volant Moteur Perpetuel."* 

* See *Per. Mob./ First Series, page 536. 


1365. — The suspension apparatus of No. 1364. 

A correspondent, Mr. K , in 1864, suggested the em- 
ployment of a continuous series of inclined planes on which 
to keep a spherical body constantly rotating ; but, as in like 
schemes of other novices, it is assumed that descent and 
ascent will be equal to each other ; or, even that the path of 
ascent may exceed that of descent. He writes ; — 

The accompanying diagram represents a series of inclined 
semi-tubes connected together in the form of a rectangle. 

The ball A, is placed at the top of an incline in such a 
position that it shall descend to B, at which point it will 
have sufficient velocity or 
gravity to carry it up the 
ascent to C; and so sup- 
posing the inclines and 
ascents to be endless, the 
repetition of the movement 
must be also endless. I 
think it is not unreason- 
able to suppose that a per- 
petual movement of the 
ball will take place, from 
the fact that the velocity imparted to it by its first descent is 
sufficient to carry it from A to C, those two points being at the 
same level. 1 think the only thing to guard against is the 
ball rushing over the point C, and thus accelerating the 
velocity at each descent. The incline or road upon which 
the ball runs can be made either circular, square, octagonal, 
or, in fact, almost of any form. 

The * Comte Cavour,' a Turin journal, confidently an- 
nounces that the problem of perpetual motion has been solved 
by M. Louis Caucbi^ Eizzo, a mechanic of Strasburg, who, it 
asserts, has invented a machine which finds its motive force 
within itseK without any external aid. Nay, more ; it is to 
be seen at work at Naples, where it has been applied to 
raising water, but M. Caucre hopes to render its application 

202 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

universal. Meanwhile, it seems, he has obtained a patent 
for fifteen years from the Italian Government.* 

We shall next proceed to give a verbatim copy of a letter 
received by the Patent Of&ce, in London, as follows : — 

Her lifajesty 

the queen Victoria, 

Patent Office, 


Your Majesty we humbly advertise that we found out 
the 'Perpetual Motion' a machine very singular in its con- 
struction, but the same time very important by the power it 

We intend to secure ourselves the patent right for the 
united states, and as we are informed your majesty has se- 
cured a reward for the inventor, we respectfully ask your 
majesty if we may come to show our invention ? 

To prevent mistake we humbly beg [your Majesty ?], not 
to believe any person, without having the original Patent of 
the United States, and the copy of this letter. 

Very respectfully, 


January 28, 1859. 

« The Times,' on the 7th of April, 1862, quotes the follow- 
ing anecdotal notice of ' An Oddity ' : — 

The 'Halifax (Nova Scotia) Sun' records the death of 
a Mr. Habt, of Wallace Eiver, who was over 90 years of 
age, and had worked all his life at the problem of perpetual 
motion ; but 90 years had not been long enough to enable 
him to solve it, and on the day before his death he had just 
'a few more wheels' to make to complete his work. 
Eccentric even in his grave, he was buried at his own request 
on one of the most lofty peaks of the Cobequid mountains in 
his ordinary clothes. 

♦ * The PaU Mall Gazette/ vol. ii. Monday, October 8, 1865. 


In * The Leisure Hour ' for 1852, page 45, there is an 
article headed 'A few remarkable advertisements,' among 
which appears : — 

VII. — Few readers will fail to recognise an old acquaint- 
ance in our next and last advertisement ; he being no less a 
personage than — 

" Katterfelto, with his hair on end, 
At his own wonders, wondering for his bread." 

CowpEB, The Task, b. iv. 

He was, at the date of the cited advertisement, going the 
round of the British towns. 

' Notice.— Dr. Katterfelto, M.D., F.R.S., will give his first 
lecture on the 6th instant, in the Black Bull Inn. Entry, 
28, 6d The great doctor is accompanied by his wonderful 
Morocco black cat — an animal of much merit, which gained 
him at one time in London 3000Z. The Doctor shows his 
various occult secrets, which have much surprised the learned 
and many kings and queens of Europe. He will exhibit his 
grand mechanical exhibition and perpetual motion; also 
sleight of hand tricks, outdoing those of Breslaw and other 
eminent conjurors.' 

The Thaumaturgical doctor thus concludes: — *Such a 
wonderful exhibition may not appear in Glasgow for a century 
to come.' * 

'The Builder' newspaper, on the 4th December, 1862, 
announced a wonderful ' New Motive Powbb,' the like of 
which was never seen, or heard of before. We are assured 
that an inhabitant of Chatteris, says a correspondent of the 
' Cambridge Chronicle,' has discovered a method by which a 
wheel of 30 or 40 tons weight, and from 30 to 60 feet in 
diameter, may be set in motion by a child of ton or twelve 
years of age. It can be applied to all sorts of stationary 
engines at fifty per cent, less than steam, and the first 
expense would be a saving of seventy-five per cent. 

In January, 1864, a paragraph was making the round of the 
papers in respect to a wonderful American Perpetual Motion, 
to the effect that a Vermont Yankee claims to have invented a 
self-propelling wheel, or perpetual motion. A correspondent 

* * Glasgow Mercury/ March, 1787. 


of the * Boston Journal ' thus describes it : — It is a simple 
wheel, runs on gudgeons, and is independent of any outside 
spring, weight, or power as a propeller. On the. same axle 
on which the metal wheel is fixed is a band wheel, on which 
a band runs over a small pulley that drives a small circular 
saw. Set it on a table and remove the brake, and it will 
start itself and run with great velocity, driving the circular 
saw. It is the simplest thing in the world, though I cannot 
intelligibly describe it ; but it is at once understood by the 
beholder. It will not, nay, cannot, stop without a brake, as 
it is so fixed by means of balls and arms that the descending 
side of the wheel is perpetually farther from the centre of 
motion than the opposition ascending. 

In *The Times' of the 2nd June, 1864, appears a communi- 
cation from * A Herefordshire Incumbent ' on ' Authoritative 
Decisions,* in which the writer incidentally observes : — 

The desire for certainty is an instinct of our nature, and 
the motive spring of all discovery. No sooner does any 
question really interest a man than he sets about seeking for 
a solution of it, and does not stop till he either finds one that 
satisfies him, or discovers that the nature of the question 
renders a solution impossible — a result which is, in fact, one 
form of answer. Newton probably never rested from the 
time when the fall of an apple excited his attention to the 
moment when the law of universal gravitation unfolded itself 
to his mind. No doubt scores of persons, of imperfect edu- 
cation but a mechanical turn, are engaged at this time in 
the attempt to effect perpetual motion, and will go on till 
they die, unless they should have the good fortune to fall in 
with a mathematician who can teach them both that what 
they are aiming at is an impossibility, and why it is so. 

A correspondent, W. T , in 1868, claimed to have 

discovered fche great mechanical secret of perpetual motion, 
and which had led him to the invention of a peculiar 
arrangement of pumps, first to be started by a winch handle, 
and then to continue working. He suggested a plan like the 
two cylinders A, B, of corresponding capacity, but differing in 
form, as shown in the diagram annexed, each having pistons 
and piston rods, with corresponding cranks, C, D, on an upper 


axle, BTipported by strong frame-wort. It would bo difBcult 
to conceive anjtliing lees imposing, or moto impoaaible. 

J, P , a Scotch mechanic, in February, 1870, writes to 

state that he cannot form any theory to explain why a system 
of a kind of water-bellows, set around the periphery of a 
wheel, should not, wbea filled, press tbemselTes empty as they 
pass over a loUer, thus causing a water-wheel, on sach a 
principle, to be heavier on the one side than on the other. 
The idea is a reproduction of Vogol's plan, already described, 
but slightly modified. In describing hia dran^t, he says : — 

A, a wheel, turning on its axis B, and passing over a 
roller D. 

C, sixteen chambers, containing water, and commnnlcating 
with each other by valves, which open only in the direction 
of motion. 

B, sixteen bellows, opened by a light spring, and closed by 
passing over D, 

As the bellows is closed, the air with which it is filled itj 
forced tlirough a valve opening inwards into an elastic bag, 
or bellows, inithia the chamber, and the air is retained in the 
bag by the doling of the valve. It escapes shwlg by a small 
hole in the centre of the wdve iUelf, and thus the diambers on 
the ascending side have all more or less air in them, whilst 


those on the descending side are all quite fuU of water. In a 
wheel carefully contrived on this principle, would not the 

constant extra weight on the descending side be sufBoient to 

overcome the necessary pressure below? There might, of 
course, be severai ways of closing the outside bellows, involv- 
ing less friction than the one rudely sketched. 

The 'Scientific Eeview,'* of 1870, notices a contrivance 
closely allied to tlie foregoing, of which it is stated tliat the 
invention of Mr. W. D. Stiles, of Nevada City, oonsists of an 
old plan of arranging a series of hydraulic bellows around 
the perimeter of a vertical wheel, and operating them by 
means of cams on the spindle npon which the wheel runs, so 
as to force the water from one bellows into another at certain 
points of the wheel's revolution. The weight of the water 
thus transferred from one point of the perimeter to another 
rotates the wheel and furnishes the motive power. 

Mr. E, 8 , lately deceased, wrote the following paper : — 

Does Perpetual Motion admit of a Natkematical Solution f — 
It is, j^erhaps, the most difficult and still seemingly easy 
question that can be put. Perpetual motion has for ages 
• ' Scientific Review,', vol. v., No. 8. FoHo. Maicli 1, 1870. London. 


been the study of a large portion of the mathematical me- 
chanical, who during some portion of their lives have given 
a large share of their ti^ie to the subject ; and the result of 
those labours has been of the most discouraging nature. 

Were it possible to answer the above question, the whole 
subject might be set at rest ; or, if a professor of mathema- 
tics could satisfy the student in search of perpetual motion 
that he was seeking a chimera, what a benefit he would 
bestow upon him. 

In considering the subject, it is first necessary to know 
what perpetual motion is to the mechanic ; and, in order that 
it may not be made too intricate, let that machine stand f^r 
the question that will turn by gravity alone which is self- 
contained, then the question will be as follows : — 

Can a machine move, or keep moving, after being set in 
motion by the arrangement of weights about its centre, peri- 
phery, or elsewhere ? 

Now, it will be seen that all the quantities are unknown, 
and to obtain an equation it will be necessary to suppose 
everything, hence the difficulty, for it is evident that it is as 
easy to suppose it possible as impossible. 

It is quite another matter for the mathematician to prove 
the impossibility of a machine moving by gravity, such as 
above named, when the proportions are given as well as the 
position of the weights, if fixed, or their paths, if movable ; 
then, however, a model or a series of comprehensive drawings 
will do as well. 

Consequently from the foregoing, perpetual motion is, as it 
has ever been, an open question ; and no doubt will engage 
the attention of the mechanical philosopher till his patience 
be worn out; for to believe a thing impossible that has 
baffled the most learned to prove so, can hardly be expected. 




It would scarcely be credited, without the facts here promi- 
nently brought forward, that the last three-quarters of a 
century should have given rise to the obtaining of letters 
patent for about 170 motionless mechanical contrivances, com- 
bining levers, wheels, weights, water, and air, to accommode 
the whimsical fancies of men pretending both to rationality 
and some scientific knowledge. It is truly to be deplored 
that, in this enlightened age, there should be found such 
palpable proofis of men lavishing their time and money on 
this chimerical pursuit. Here we have a class of patentees 
who fearlessly parade their ignorance and folly before the 
public ; ignorance, because the most elementary acquaintance 
with the subjects in which they dabble ought to suffice to 
expose their ill-masked points of fstilure ; and folly, because 
their greatest success could at best only realize a worthless 

We shall proceed to give the patents in order of date, in- 
cluding those which were omitted to be noticed in 1861 : — 

1801. — William Pabees [No. 2535], of Newington, Surrey, 
Professor of Philosophy, " A perpetual power that will give 
motion to all kinds of machinery, mills, engines, carriages, 
ships of war, mercantile and other vessels, lighters, craffcs, and 
boats of every description." 

This grand arcanum or secret of nature is that liquid or 
fluid composition called air, not formed by art but by the 
chymical process of nature. It is invisible and inexhaustible, 
but it is unlimited in its power and effect. It can be applied 


to give motion to all sorts of machinery, and it may be worked 
in all situations, by land or by water, upon the highest moon- 
tain or in the lowest valley. It is perpetual, for it fills the 
whole expanse between the earth and the canopy of heaven. 
It is obtained without expense, being everywhere present, and 
it will give motion to every kind of m^hanism, to mills for 
working iron, spinning silk, cotton, wool, &c, and for grind- 
ing and dressing of com, to engines for draining of lands and 
mines, to pumps, carriages, ships of war, mercantile and 
other vessels, to lighters, crafts, and boats of every descrip- 
tion, and, in short, to everything that requires motion. This 
perpetual power can be increased or diminished at the will of 
the person that applies it, by opening a large valve, pipe, or 
cock for the air to pass thro' to the wheel or piston, whereby 
an immense saving will be made (by the use of this power) 
to the public in fuel for steam engines, in collecting streams 
of water for mills, and in manual and other labour. The 
method of applying this perpetual power to give motion is 
by compressing or condensing air into a receiver or reservoir 
of any form, with an air pump or bellows fixed to the receiver 
or reservoir, and conveying this air from the receiver or re- 
servoir to a wheel with close or open buckets, or to a piston 
by pipes, valves, or cocks. This will give the wheel or piston 
motion according to the body of air conveyed to it, and it 
will have the same effect upon the mill or engine as water or 
steam, for it is the stream of water running upon the wheel, 
and the expansion of the steam to the piston, that gives motion; 
so it is the stream of air running upon the wheel, and the ex- 
pansion of it to the piston, that is the cause of motion to both 
wheel and piston, with this advantage, its power can be in- 
creased to any magnitude by compressing a greater body of air 
into the receiver or reservoir, and conveying a greater body 
of it to the wheel or piston ; in fact, it is this power which 
gives motion to every living thing, for without air we cannot 
live or breathe, and its motion will never cease to act upon a^ 
machine until the materials of the machine give way, for the 
machine itself will keep the pumps or bellows constantly at 
work by fixing a crank to the air pump or bellows, by which 
means it communicates with the first motion, and the receiver 
or reservoir is continually supplied with fresh air, and this 
gives perpetual motion to the machine which nothing else in 

210 PESPBTUUM mobile; 

nature can do. This power mdy be applied to any carriages, 
ships, or boats in the same manner that the steam engine is 
applied, or any way the engineer may think most proper. 

1825. — William Jeffbbibs [No. 6250], of Eatcliflfe, Mid- 
dlesex, brass manufacturer. *' A Machine for impelling power 
without the aid of j&re, water, or air ; &c." This title reads 
very like one for perpetual motion ; but no specification was 

1834. — Philip Augustus De Chapeaubouge [No. 6614], 
of London, gentleman. " A Machine, Engine, or Apparatuis 
for producing motive power," which he denominates * A self- 
acting motive power,' and called in France by the inventor 
* Voland Moteur Perpetual,' being a communication from a 
foreigner residing abroad. But the requisite specification 
was not enrolled, although a patent was re-commenced in 
March, 1835. No. 6802. 

1836. — William Fothebgill Cooke [No. 7174], of Bellayse 
College, Durham, Esquire. "Improvements in winding-up 
springs to produce continuous motion, applicable to various 
purposes ;" dated 17th August, 1836, but he failed to enrol 
a specification. 

1858.— James Smith [No. 1858], of Seaforth, Liverpool, and 
Sydney Arthub Chease, of Liverpool, gentlemen. "Ln- 
proved Arrangements for Obtaining and Applying Motive 

This invention consists in certain mechanical appliances so 
arranged as to co-operate with the motive power of the atmo- 

On the plate or bed of the engine is bolted a metallic ring, 
having two plates of iron firmly bolted on the sides by means 
of flanges. A square projection is cast on one part of the 
ring or cylinder (this cylinder we call the sphere). On the 
projection or table is fixed an air-pump (which we call the 
compressor), with which the air is forced into the sphere to 
any amount of density required for working the engine. On 
the table is likewise fixed a flange having an elbow joint with 
an aperture through the table into the sphere corresponding 
with the core of the elbow joint. 


Near the sphere is faed a cylinder (which we call the pri- 
mary cylinder) on bearings springing from the bed of the 
engine. A piston is fitted to the primary cylinder. On the 
plate of the piston is screwed a yeJve, made of strap leather 
(which we call the plate yalve), in the stufSng box is a con- 
tinuous yalye made of the same kind of leather as the plate 
valve, and kept in its place by a ring screwed on the piston. 

.The piston rod is bolted to a plate having two guide rods, 
that move in sockets screwed on the cylinder ; the guide rods 
terminate in a crown above the cylinder. The crown has a 
connecting joint that unites it to the primary lever (which 
we call the power conductor). The power conductor has 
jaws at one end and a horn-shaped projection and a pair 
of friction wheels at the other. The horn passes between 
guide rods that spring from and are fixed on the bed of the 
engine immediately in front of the primary cylinder, the 
friction wheels running on a perpendicular plsuie, keeping 
the power conductor in its place. The jaws clasp and are 
made fast to trunnions projecting from a half beam (which 
we call the primary blade). The primary blade has at one 
end a pair of jaws, and trunnions at the other end. The 
trunnions are set in bearings springing from the bed of the 

A bar passes through the jaws of the primary blade ; on 
the bar outside the jaws are united cojpecting rods. The 
lower ends of these rods are made fast to the ears of a piston 
fitted in a cylinder (which we call the secondary cylinder). 
The piston has a continuous valve made of strap leather, 
which allows the pressure of the atmosphere to exert itself 
against the face of the piston of the secondary cylinder. 
Between the jaws of the primary blade on the bar that passes 
through it, is fixed the crank rod (this rod we call the atomic 
arm). This arm is divided into two parts, the lower part is 
held by an eye, through which the bar in the jaws *of the 
primary blade passes. The upper part of the arm is made in 
two pieces bolted together, forming guide rods to the lower 
part of the arm, wluch works freely through a socket. A 
head is bolted on it to hold it in its place. On the upper 
part of this arm a bearing is attached, which unites it to the 
sweep of the shaft. 
By doubling the parts herein described, the crank is made 

212 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

to work at right angles. On each side of the sweep is fixed 
cams (which we call secondary blades). 

The minor points of these blades fall on friction wheels, 
which set in Uie ends of the secondary lever (which we call 
the power supporter). 

The other end of the power supporter is united to the 
power conductor by means of a union rod. 

As the secondary blades revolve with the motion of the 
shaft, the lower bearer and the power conductor are raised 
together with the pistons of the primary and secondary cy- 
linders, and held in position until the sweep of the crank 
passes three degrees beyond the angle of rest, when the major 
points of the secondary blades quit the friction wheels at the 
ends of the power supporter, leaving the atmospheric pres- 
sure to act on the piston of the secondary cylinder, and the 
compressed air from the sphere to act on the piston of the 
primary cylinder, causing them to fall simultaneously, forcing 
the atomic arm attached to the sweep of the shaft from three 
degrees beyond the angle of rest to three degrees before the 
centre of gravity; when again the friction wheels of the 
power supporter is met by the minor points of the secondary 
blades, is raised and held in position until the major points 
are gained, when the power supporter, power conductor, and 
the pistons of the primary and secondary cylinders again fall, 
and thus a succession of risings and fallings are maintained 
until the communi&tion between the primary cylinder and 
the sphere is shut off, which is done by means of a cock 
fixed on the head of the primary cylinder, and united by 
means of a pipe and union joints to the elbow joint on the 
boss or the sphere. 

The compressor has a piston. The piston rod is united 
to a lever which is used by a person to compress a su£&cient 
quantity of air into the sphere, that when turned on the 
piston of the primary cylinder, a perfect balance between it 
and the piston of the secondary cylinder is produced. 

The engine is then ready for use. Gear is led from the 
power conductor to the union joint of the compressor, causing 
a jet of air to be forced through the compressor into the 
sphere at each revolution of the crank, and all power thus 
injected beyond that required for working the engine is 
carried off by means of a safety valve a£&xed to the sphere, 



which Tttlve is regulated by atmospheric pressnre on the 
piston of a small cylinder, which travels on a level by means 
of a screw. 

This engme (which we call the atomic engine) is capable 
of driving all kinds of machinery which have been hitherto 
worked by ateom, water, or wind, giving the propelling 
power to a paddle or screw of a marine engine, to l^e drivii^ 
wheels of the locomotive on the railway, and to all kinds of 
stationary engines employed in mills and other works. 

[This formidable engine and its several parts are delineated 
in three Urge sheets of drawings, containing twenty-seren 
figures. It is useless to reproduce these beyond the annexed 
side elevation. The patentees observe : — ] 

Describe n square whose sidea are 9 feet 3 inches. Lay 
the hypothennso on the horiaontal line, the points A' and B' 
will be the length of the power oondnctor. Between A. and 
B. the crank of the driving shaft should not exceed one-tenth 

of the length of the power conductor. A, the bed of the 
ei^ine; B and B' the primary and seoontkry sphwes; C, 
the sphere bearings ; D and D', the compressors ; E and E', 
the commmticators ; F and F', the primary and secondary 
cylinders ; O and Q', the pistons ; H and H', the piston rods ; 


I and I*, the oomiecting rods; E and E^ links uniting the 
connecting rods to the horn of the power conductor ; L, the 
power conductor ; M, the horn of the power conductor ; N, 
the friction wheels ; 0, slot in the plate for guiding the horn ; 
P, the plane for the friction wheels to run on ; Q, the primary 
blade ; B, the trunnions ; S, the eye of the power eonductory 
through which the pin passes that connects it and the atomic 
arm to the primary blade ; T, the atomic arm or crank rod ; 
U, the strap uniting the atomic arm to the crank; Y^ the 
crank ; W, the shaft ; X, the eccentric ; Y, eccentric rod ; 
Z, the beU-crank for working the slide yalve and the com- 
pressors. A, lever for wor^ig the compressors; B^ hand 
lever for obtaining the balance of power ; G, links uniting 
the primary blade to the piston of (E) the cylinder of the air 
condenser; D, the guide rod; E*, piston; F and ¥\ the 
piston valves for admitting the atmospheric pressure to pass 
beneath the piston; O, the spring valve; H, the passage 
allowing the air to pass into the reservoir ; I, the stop-coek ; 
E, the reservoir (an ordinary boiler of a steam engine) ; L, 
the motive cylinder ; M, the piston ; N, the piston rod ; P» 
the guides ; Q, links uniting &e motive cylinder to the horn 
of the power conductor ; E, communication between the reser- 
voir and the motive cylinder ; 8, stop-cock ; T, the standard ; 
XT, the primary blade bearings; Y, shaft bearings; W, fly 
wheel; X and XS bearings of the primary and secondary 
cylinders ; Z and Z\ safety valves, a, the table on the sphere 
upon which the compressors are mounted; &, standards for 
supporting the hand lever ; c, d, lugs for attaching the sphere 
to its seat ; e, plug of the stop-cock ; / stop-cock lever ; g^ 
the ram; A, a valve made with strap leather; t, a metal 
washer even with the edge of the valve ; y, the barrel ; h, an 
oil cup; 2, a cock to regulate the supply of oil when the 
engine is working; m, apertures to admit the air beneath 
the ram for compression ; n, a chamber containing a spring 
valve ; p, a stop-cock ; q, the lever handle of ditto ; r, flanges 
uniting the barrel, chamber cock, and sphere together by 
means of bolts ; 8, the plate and strap leather washer ; u, an 
aperture to allow the air to pass when forced down by the 
ram ; w, a leather cap, covering the head of the spring valve ; 
X, the valve spindle; y, the spindle guides; z, the spiral 
spring. A, the flange on the head of the primary cylinder 


or other portions ; N, a flange brazed on the pipe, having a 
collar (P) to lap over the flange (A) ; Q, the end of the pipe 
which is inserted into the flanged opening ; E, a stu£&ng box, 
having an india-rubber washer inserted therein, and when 
bolted together forms an air-tight joint. A, a flange to unite 
the pipe that connects the cylinder with the sphere ; B, the 
piston plate ; D, the plate valve made with strap leather and 
screwed to the plate ; E, a thin metal disc, the diameter of 
the cylinder beneath the plate valve; F, a continuous cup 
packing screwed around the piston plate; G, a second thin 
metal disc ; H, a cupped leather disc acting against the sides 
of the piston, and held by the set screws of the piston rod ; 
K, an oil pan in which the brush (L) dips into at each stroke 
of the piston ; M, a tap to run off the surplus oil from the 
pan (Kj. 

1861. — James Smith [No. 922] and Sydket Abthub Chease, 
of Liverpool, gentlemen. " Improved Arrangement of Engine 
for Obtaining and Applying Motive Power." [Provisional 
protection was refused, but the inventors in their applica- 
tion, say : — ] 

This invention relates to certain improvements in the parts 
and in the arrangement thereof, to be used in the construc- 
tion of engines made according to an invention, patented the 
14th day of August, 1858, No. 1858. 

The improved arrangement of the atomic engine consists 
in attaching two or more of the primary cylinders, having a 
communication with each other by means of a pipe. A cock 
is attached to the pipe for the purpose of admitting a fluid. 
Pistons are fitted to the cylinders. The connecting rods 
attached to the pistons are united at right angles on the 
wheel by means of levers. As the wheel rotates tiiese levers 
come into contact with a friction wheel, which forces the 
piston down one of the primary cylinders, driving the other 
piston in an opposite direction, wluch is effected by means of 
the communication pipe connecting the two cylinders. A 
weight may be fixed on the lever, which will add to the force 
of gravatic attraction. Each cylinder must be partially 
filled with air, water, mercury, or essential oils. The second-* 
ary cylinder is fixed to the bed of the engine, or some other 
convenient position. The secondary cylinder has a gland at 


one end, through which the piston rod passes. A conunnni- 
cation is effected between itie two ends of the secondary 
cylinder by means of a pipe having a stop-cock. The second- 
ary cylinder is filled with water or essential oils for regpi- 
lating the action of the wheel, which is effected by means of 
a connecting rod attached to the piston rod at one end, and to 
a orank or eccentric wheel on the shaft of the engine at the 
other end. By shutting the stop-cock the motion of the 
engine is stopped, and by partially turning the stop-cock the 
speed of the engine is regulated. 

1863. — James Smith [No. 174] and Stdket Abthub Chbabb, 
of Egremont, Chester. " A New Description of Motive-power 
Engine." [We give entire the following description of this 
novel method for superseding the steam engine, the same 
being public property, the joint inventors not having pro- 
ceeded beyond obtaining provisional protection.] 

This is an engine for obtaining motive power applicable to 
stationary, locomotive, marine, and other purposes. It con- 
sists in certain mechanical appliances so arranged as to co- 
operate with the motive powers of air and water, each of these 
powers being subject to tiie action of gravitation in proportion 
to its ponderability. On the bed of the engine we secure one, 
two, or more tanks (if the tank or tanks be oscillating tanks, 
they are supported by trunnions set on bearings springing 
from the bed of the engine). In the following description we 
adopt the singular number, being more simple and compre- 
hensive. Within the tank we fix a cylinder which we call 
* the isolated cylinder,' within the 'isolated cylinder ' we fit a 
second cylinder which we call the * float.' The external 
diameter of the float is to the internal diameter of the isolated 
cylinder in the proportion of 49 to 50. The float must be 
perfectly air-tight, and made after the manner of a buoy. To 
the bottom of the float we fix a piston, and by means of a strap 
leather valve the piston is made air-tight in the isolated 
cylinder. In the centre of the piston we fix a metal valve, 
and to this valve we attach gear, having a rod which we call 
the actuating rod passing through the float by means of a 
* tube. The actuating rod passes through the head of the tank, 
and is united to the eccentric gear. On the head of the float 
is fixed a rod which we call the power rod. The power rod 


passes throngli the head of the tank, and by means of a cross- 
head is united to a lever, and a connecting rod unites the 
lever and the crank. In t]ie case of an oscillating tank we 
unite the power rod with the crank direct, and rotation is 
produced without the aid of an eccentric wheel or lever. 

Eotation is produced as follows : — The valve on the piston 
being closed, we fill the tank with water,, we then open the 
valve by means of the regulating gear. The water on the 
face of the piston passes through the valve, and the float 
ascends. When it has arrived at the full throw of the crank, 
the valve is closed by the action of the eccentric and the float 
descends, producing action and reaction throughout the whole 
system of the engine. 

When the tank is stationary the regulator forms part of the 
valve on the piston with gear independent of the eccentric, 
but when the tank is oscillating the regulator is attached to 
the standard, or some other convenient situation adapted for 
the purpose, and is made to act by means of a screw and bit, 
the screw carrying the bit forward so as to come in contact 
with the head of .the actuating rod which communicates with 
the valve beneath, and causes it to open and shut as the tank 
oscillates. By this means the wheel will continue to rotate 
until the regulator is withdrawn by reversing its screw. 
When two or more isolated cylinders and floats are used, we 
employ a right-angled crank. The fly-wheel may then be 
dispensed with, but we recommend the adoption of the fly- 
wheel in every engine that has but one isolated cylinder and 
one float. 

1863. — James Smith [No. 17061 and Sydney Aethub 
Chkase. " A New Description of Hydraulic Engine for 
Eaising Water and other Fluids above their Common Level, 
the Fluids so Eaised to be used as a Motive Power." 

Our invention consists in fixing, one or more tanks of any 
dimensions within a reservoir so as to allow water or any other 
fluid employed to pass freely between them. On the bottom of 
the tank inside we place two or more valves, over corresponding 
apertures, which form a communication with the reservoir be- 
neath. These valves are enclosed by two or more cylinders, 
bolted to the bottom of the tank. Within these cylinders we fit 
pistons having valves on them similar to those on the bottom of 


the tank. The pistons we fix to air-tight cylinders or floats, and 
by means of connecting rods we attach the floats to levers set 
on bearings secured to the crown qf the tank. A rod attached 
to the craok communicates an oscillating motion to the levers 
above, cansing the floats and pistons to ascend and descend 
alternately as the shaft revolves. A connecting rod unites 
the crank to the piston rod of the actuating cylmder. This 
cylinder maybe constructed in the same manner as the cylinder 
for a steam engine, having feed and exhaust ports, wiih slide 
valves and gear, worked by an eccentric ; or it may be made 
in two or three parts, having the feed and exhaust ports the 
whole diameter of the cylinder, and the piston may be made 
hollow or truncated, thereby utilizing the whole of the fluid 
employed in the working of the engine. We then fill the tank 
with water and put sufficient water into the reservoir to allow 
the valves on the bottom of the tank to work freely. By 
opening the sluice valve, thereby allowing the water in the 
tank to pass through the feed pipe into the actuating cylinder, 
the water acts on the piston by the force of gravitation, similar 
to the manner in which steam acts on the piston by the force 
of expansion. The water passes through the cylinder and ont 
of the exhaust port into the reservoir. The feed ports and 
exhaust ports we open and close by the action of the eccentrioy 
thereby changing ike force of the water from the bottom to the 
top of the piston. This causes the shaft to revolve, the lever 
to oscillate, and raises one piston and float in the cylinder and 
depresses the other, while the atmospheric pressure acting on 
the surface of the water contained in the reservoir, forces a 
portion of it to follow the piston and fill the cylinder as the 
float ascends, and the water in the other cylinder passes 
through the valves on the piston into the tank, and from the 
tank through the feed pipe into the actuating cylinder, through 
the exhaust ports into the reservoir, and by the pressure of the 
atmosphere, is again forced through the valves on the bottom 
of the tank into the cylinders, and this circuit of motion 
will be continued until the communication between the tank 
and actuating cylinder is shut off, when the motion ceases. 

Figure 1 is a flank or side elevation of the engine. 

A, the tank, the lower end of which extends down into B, 
the reservoir ; C, the line of the common level of the water 
in the reservoir ; D and E, valves on the lower tank plate ; F 


snd G, open topped cylinders, in wtich work H and I, the 
pistons ; E and L, the piston valves ; M and N, the floats ; 
0, the float-gnide rods ; F, F, rods connecting the floats with 

B and B', componnd levers ; S and S', connecting rods, 
uniting the levers to T, the crank, and U, the piston rod; W, 
the actnating cylinder ; X, the hollow piaton ; Y, the feed 
box ; Z and Z', feed ports and slide valves ; a and a', ezhanst 
porte and slide valves ; B, the eceentrio ; C, ecoenlxio strap 
and slide valve gear ; J), reversing lever ; G, the slnice valve 
lever ; F, the sliuce valve, G, regulating cocks ; H, the venti- 
lating cocks ; K, opening for waste pipe for obtaining the 
common level of the water in the tank ; L, ventilator. When 
an extra presanre of atm(»pheric air is required to be exerted 
on the surface of the water within the ttuik, the ventilating 
opening is fitted as a safety valve, and when an extra presscre 
of atmospheric air is required on the surface of the water in 
the tank, the waste pipe is dispensed with, and a cock with 
float gear fitted at the bottom of the tank within the reservoir 
is used in its stead. M, the lower tank plato ; N, the lid of 

220 PEBPBTUUM mobile; 

the reservoir ; O, the head plate ; P, seat of the actuating 
cylinder ; E and S, the float belts ; T, india-rubber throttle 
guard. M, the lower plate of the tank A, has two apertures 
for receiving the valve plates D and E, and lugs beneath for 
securing the tank to the reservoir B. The valve plates D and 
E are perforated discs, covered with a clack valve of leather, 
or which may be of india-rubber, secured at their centres to 
the plates by bolts and nuts. The open cylinders F and G 
are bolted down on the lower tank plate, over the edges of 
the valve plates, so. as to render them air-tight on their edges, 
and hold them firmly in the recesses tibat receive them. 
Each of the open cylinders must be of larger cubical contents 
than the actuating cylinder W, in order that the excess of 
water raised by each stroke of the engine may be carried off 
from the tank through the waste pipe K into the reservoir, 
or when an extra atmospheric pressure is employed the water 
may be carried through the cock acted upon by the float in 
the reservoir. By tlus arrangement, compensation is made 
for any loss of water the tank may sustain by reversing the 
engine, as the tank will be again filled to the level of K when 
the engine proceeds on its altered course. The pistons H 
and I are similar to the valve 3)lates, being perforated discs, 
with leather valves which encircle their edges, and the rings 
m and n form the cylinder guides, and keep the leather valves 
firm in their places. The lugs H and I, fixed on the foot of 
the floats M and N, pass through the centre of the pistons, 
holding them in their places, and at the same time securing 
the india-rubber flap valves K and L on their centres. The 
floats M and N must be in diameter to that of the actuating 
piston X, in the proportion of 50 to 49, which will give the 
required amount of water for reversing the engine. The 
floats and piston tnmks of small engines may be made with 
wood, and protected from the action of the water by thin 
galvanized iron. The float should have a metal stay passing 
through its centre, the end coming through the head will 
form a guide rod, and that end at the foot will hold the 
piston and valve in its place. A bore should be carried 
through the float from end to end, for the purpose of adjust- 
ing the engine, which is done by pouring shot or small 
pieces of metal down the aperture tmtil the gear of the 
engine is balanced by the weight added to the float. When 


water is to be raised from a well, the well itself forms the 
reservoir ; the lower tank plate, its valves, its open cylinders, 
pistons, and a portion of the floats and the tank, must be in- 
serted some depth beneath the surface of the water, taking 
care that the lower tank plate does not come in contact with 
the bottom of the well, yet always remaining under water. 
When the new description of hydraulic engine is employed as 
a lifting pump, as in a well or in a ship, the actuating cylinder 
and the levers E^ and E are dispensed with and a shaft (having 
some fitting appliance for giving the floats a reciprocating 
motion) is substituted in their place with a crank handle and 
a fly-wheel turned by hand labour, for imparting the momen- 
tum required for raising the water above its common level. 
But in an engine adapted for marine or manufacturing pur- 
poses the floats must be made with metal, having cocks G and 
A on their heads for adjusting the engine. G have tubes 
attached to them, which descend to the bottom of the floats 
(inside), and H have tubes screwed on their nozzles (when the 
cocks are required for use) that pass through the head-plate 
of the tank. Now by turning the cock G affixed on the head 
of the float N, a suf&cient quantity of water can be admitted 
into the float to balance the crank and the gear of the actu- 
ating cylinder, while the cock H allows the air displaced by 
the water to escape from the float into the atmosphere. If the 
water is to be extracted from the float, a syphon or a small 
force pump screwed on to the nozzle G will draw it off. The 
float belts E have each two trunnions s, and two guide boxes t. 
The guide boxes slide on the guide rods O, keeping the floats 
perpendicular during the time they reciprocate. The trun- 
nions are grasped by the connecting rods P, which unite the 
floats to the compound levers E and E^ The end of the lever 
E^ passes through the front of the tank at T (an india-rubber 
throttle guard,) and is united to the connecting rod S attached 
to the crank T. In stationary engines, where the reservoir 
can be sunk in the earth to any depth, and built up with solid 
masonry, the lever E' and the connecting rod S may be dis- 
pensed with, and the reciprocating motion obtained by passing 
a rod fixed on the foot of the float N, continued from I, and 
passing through a stuffing box h : and by cross-head rods and 
levers connected with the piston TJ a foot action can be pro- 
duced equal to the head action. But in a ship where only a 

222 PEBPETinTM mobile; 

limited depth can be obtained the head action is most con- 
venient, as it can be subjected to many modifications. When 
the mechanical arrangement is completed we fill the tank with 
water to the level of K, and the reservoir B to the level of 0. 
We then bring down the sluice lever E &om h to c, when the 
water contained in the tank rushes through the sluice valve 
F into the feed box T through the feed port Z into the actu- 
ating cylinder W, raising the piston X and crank, which is 
carried over the centre by the fly-wheel, and communicating 
an oscillating motion to the compound levers, and a recipro- 
cating motion to the floats, causing the float M to ascend in 
the open cylinder F, opening the vsdve D, through which the 
pressure of the atmosphere on the surface of the water in the 
reservoir B forces it to follow the ascent of the piston H. 
But in the case of a double engine the fly-wheel may be dis- 
pensed with, and a right-angled crank may be substituted* 
Meanwhile the float N descends in the cylinder G, opening 
the piston valve L, allowing the water contained in the cylinder 
to pass up into the tank E ; at the same time the eccentric 
acting on the valve gear opens the valves a and Z, closing the 
valves a} and Z% changing the force of water from the top to 
the bottom of the piston. The water contained in the actu- 
ating cylinder passes through the exhaust port a into the 
reservoir, again to be forced by the power of the air through 
the lower valves into the tank, until the sluice lever is raised 
from c to 6, closing the sluice valve when motion ceases. 
When it is required to reverse the engine the sluice valve 
must be closed, then raise the lever E from h to c, closing the 
sluice valve ; then raise the lever Dfrom dtoe, and the exhaust 
ports a will be closed and a^ opened, and the feed ports Z^ 
will be opened and Z closed ; then bring down the lever E 
opening the sluice valve, when the engine will proceed in an 
opposite direction. When an extra atmospheric pressure, by 
means of a supplemental air pump or its mechanical equiva- 
lent is employed on the surface of the water in the tank, the 
water therein need not be more than two-thirds the height of 
the tank. 

What we claim as our invention is the principle of 'Anew 
description of hydraulic engine for raising water and other 
fluids above their common level, the fluids so raised to be used 
as a motive power,' as herein-before described. 


1865. — James Smith [No. 791] and Sydney Abthub Cheasb. 
" An improved arrangement of yalves and other appliances 
for a new description of hydraulic engine for raising water 
and other fluids above their common level, the fluids so raised 
to be used as a motive power." 

This invention of an improved arrangement of valves and 
other appliances for our hydraulic engine for raising water and 
other fluids above their common level, for which we obtained 
Her Majesty's Letters Patent, bearing date the Ninth day 
of July, 1863, and numbered 1706, consists in constructing a 
reservoir having two compartments, called the upper and 
lower compartments. The upper compartment hak a lift 
pump for raising the water or other fluid from the lower com- 
partment, producing two different levels of the fluid in the 
one reservoir. Into the lower level of the fluid we insert a 
portion of a tank or tanks, allowing the fluid in the reservoir 
to have free play around tiiem. Inside and on the bottom of 
the tank or tanks we flx a box or boxes, each box having two 
sets of valves composed of gun metal, one set opening to the 
fluid contained in the reservoir. These valves we so arrange 
that when the pair or set of valves in communication with the 
fluid in the tank are open the other pair or set are closed and 
shut off the communication with the reservoir, and vice versd. 
On the upper side of the box or boxes is a circular aperture,' 
around which is fitted a cup leather valve. This valve fits 
the lower part of an air-tight cylinder or flat, which is in- 
serted in the circular aperture, and by means of connecting 
rods the cylinder or float we attach to the end of a lever or 
beam ; the other end of the beam is united by two connecting 
rods to the crank of the engine and the piston rod of the lift 
pump. On the shaft is fixed an eccentric to work the gear 
which actuates the tank valves. On the head of the tank we 
fix a feed pipe, which passes downwards into the upper com- 
partment of the reservoir, having a valve attached to it, which 
is always kept beneath the high level of the fluid in the upper 
compartment of the reservoir, and thus acts as a syphon. We 
then fill the tank and feed pipe with water or some other 
fluid, and raise the fluid in the lower compartment of the 
reservoir which contains the lift pump to within a few inches 
of the lid of the tank or tanks, when the engine is ready for 


The production and cBuse of motion may be described as 
follows : — The floats being bollow, and merely filled with at- 
moBpherio air, are lighter than a Bjiace of eqnal magnitude 
£Ued by a colmnn of water, and it therefore follows of necee- 
Bity that when the tank valves are open to the gravatio foroe 
of the fluid contained in the tank, that force acts on the 
bottom of the float and causes it to rise, and when the Talve 
is dosed against the action of gravatic force in the tank, and 
opened to the reserroir, the float falls, there being no power 
beneath to support it, thos prodaciag a reciprocating motion, 
which acting on the beam produces rotation of the crank, and 
at the same time actuates the eccentric, causing the tank 
valves to open and close ; and this motion is continued until 
the syphon valve is dosed, shotting off the atmospheric prea- 
Bure by which the water or other fluid is forced into the tank 
by the syphon feed pipe, and by which the waf«t or other 
fluid is nused throng the agency of the lift pump into the 
upper compartment of the reservoir. 

Figure 1 is a flank or side devation of the engine, seen io 
▼ertioal section. 

A, A, the external compartment of the reservoir; B, B, the 
internal ctanpartment of the reservoir, containing the lift 


pump C and the sluice valve box D ; E, F, F, and G, the tank, 
which we construct in four parts, £ the £rst part, containing 
the box cylinders H and I. The parts F, F, coni^in the two 
floats K and L, the part G contains the intermediate lever M, 
to which the floats K and L are united by means of the slings 
N and O, and by the aid of the rod P, which is firmly bolted 
on the head of the float E, passing through the stuffing box 
Q, having a cross-head K, and the link S held in the jaws of 
the lever T, imparting motion to the fly-wheel TJ by means of 
the connecting rod Y and the crank W. The connecting rod 
X is attached to the piston rod T at one end and the crank W 
at the other. As the engine works the lift; pump C conveys the 
fluid contained within the external compartment of the reser- 
voir A, A, into the internal compartment of the reservoir B, B, 
maintaining a constant level above the sluice valve Z. The 
pressure of the atmosphere passing through the ventilator Aa, 
acts on the fluid and forces it through tibe syphon feed pipe 
Ba, until the sluice valve Z is closed. The circular vsdves 
Da and Ea are actuated by the eccentric Fa and its gear Ga, 
Ga causing them to open and close alternately, producing a 
circuit of motion ; Ha, an aperture in the neck of the syphon 
feed pipe Bo, and used for charging the tank E, F, F, G. The 
fluid is poured into it through this passage, filling the sluice 
valve box D, the syphon feed pipe Ba, and the tank E, F, F, G, 
until they cannot be made to contain any more ; the blank 
nut la is then tightly screwed down over the aperture, having 
a leather washer beneath it to render it perfectly air-tight. 
We then pour more fluid into the reservoir through the ven- 
tilator Aa, until the Ea, Ea, and La, La, levels are attained ; 
when this is accomplished the engine is ready to be set in 
motion, which is done by opening the sluice valve Z by means 
of the lever Ma. The air pump Na, is employed to produce 
artificial pressure on the fluid ; in that case we bolt the cap 
Oa of the ventilator on (with packing to make it perfectly 
air-tight), then with the lever Pa we pump the air until we 
obtain the required pressure. By uniting the lever Pa to 
the lever T at the point Ea, any amount of power can be 
obtained, and at the same time controlled by means of the 
safety valve Sa, a guide rod bolted on the head of the float 
L, and kept in its place by passing through the stuffing 

226 PEBPirmjir KOBiLB ; 

This description is followed by details of no less than nine 
figuses, occupying fonr folio pages. 

We have here four patents, and one abortive application 
for a patent by a capitalist and the mechanic who is his 
protege. It is not very clearly indicated on the fa.ce of the 
specifications that a seK-moving engine is intended, but it is 
eyident that when water and the atmosphere are to perform 
the usual duties of fire, water, and steam, that perpetual mo- 
tion must follow. We have here an enormous engine pre- 
sented to us under two distinct forms, intended to supplant 
the steam-engine I 

Upon these precious specimens of absurdity the capitalist 
in the concern has spent between £8 and £10,000, with the 
usual result of — ^** wait a little longer." Yes ; we may wait 
until Doomsday for this or any other self-lifting, self-moving, 
and self-working piece of child's play to get into activity, 
even to an extent to satisfy the credulity of infatuated specu* 
latord, and ignorant or designing pseudo-inventors. It is 
absolutely neither more nor less than a discredit to modem 
intelligence to see such gross deceptions boldly put forth 
(even though ignorantly) with all the external characteristics 
of philosophical truth and commercial importance. 

1860. — Mabo Abttoine F. Mbnnons [24], of Paris ; a com- 
munication from Louis Diodor Laserson, of Moscow, Bussia. 
" Certain Improvements in the Production of Motive Power, 
and in the Apparatus connected therewith." 

The invention consists in the application of the ascensional 
force of air or gases developed under water to the generation 
of motive power, and in tiiie combination of apparatus, by 
means of which the power thus produced is accumiQated, 
transmitted and applied. The principal element of this com- 
bination is a wheel or disc (shown in plan and section. Figs. 
1, 2), the dimensions of which are proportioned to the power 
required. On the circumference of this wheel are fixed at 
equal distai^ces a given number (say sixteen) of flexible air 
reservoirs a, communicating with an equal number of tubular 

OB, sxaSoh fob Bxlt-hotite powbb. 227 

paesages h, whicli open in the nave c In the length of the 
fixed shaft d, on wMch this wheel is monnted, are formed two 

eylindrioal cells £ }fj wimh the air is admitted to and dis- 
charged from the fiexible TeservoirB a by the tnbnltff posBagea 
h, with which they oorrespMid. The hydKnatnaoapherio witeel 
time mounted, and immeraed to the reqoired depth in a gsit- 
able leseivoa, as in /, is placed in commonication by ite 
hollow shaft with an air-c<»npreaeing appatatos of any cMm- 
venient fonn, which in its turn is connected with tilie shaft of 
an ordinary hydraulie wheel. The latter beii^ set in motion 
acta on the forcing apparatus, by which a jet i^ compressed 
air is thrown into the hollow shaft of the hydroHitmoBpherie 
wheel by the entry cell corresponding with the onfices of the 
fourth quadrant or lowest immersed section of the latter. 
The air injected following the tubular passages within its 
range enters and inflates the corresponding fleiible reeerrdrs, 
which thits acquiring an ascensiwial force proportioned to 
their displacing capacity and degree of inimersi(«i, carry for- 
ward the wheel in their movement towards the surface. On 
reaching the water line the tubtilar passages come into com- 
mnnication by the nave wifioes witji the discharge oell of 
the fixed shaft, and give egrrae to the air compressed in the 
flexible reservoirs, which collapse simultaneous^ with the is- 
flatioQ of the sncoeeding series by wbx^ they lu«r« i». ^btt 

228 PSBPETUiTM mobile; 

meantime been replaced in the fourth quadrant. The latter 
following the ascensional movement of their predecessors 
give place to a third series, and collapse in the same way on 
passing the surface, so that each air reservoir on re-entering 
the water in the continued revolution of the wheel, presents 
comparatively little resistance until it arrives at the turning 
point, when tiie communication with the entry cell of the axle 
being again established the movements above described are 
reproduced. The force thus developed by the hydro-atmo- 
spheric wheel, which represents about three times that of the 
prime motor, may be at this stage applied to the required 
transmissions of movement. When natural watercourses are 
not to be had within a reasonable distance of the locality in 
which the force is to be applied, it becomes necessary to 
replace them by an artificial fall, established and maintained 
by a combination, as follows : — 

In a building of suitable dimensions and construction is 
placed at a given height, a reservoir of su£&cient capacity to 
supply the amount of water necessary for the first revolutions 
of an ordinary hydraulic wheel, which is mounted below it on 
a shaffc connected with an air-compressing apparatus. The 
latter is placed in communication with the hollow arbor of 
the hydro-atmospheric wheel, constructed as above, and work- 
ing in a reservoir or basin of suitable depth. This wheel is 
connected in its turn with a second compressing apparatus 
communicating with a series of fixed air magazines placed 
close to the main reservoirs. A pair of air conduits to the 
right and left of the latter pass from the compressed air 
magazines to the basement of the structure, where they each 
open into one or several impermeable flexible reservoirs en- 
closed in two metallic recipients. In the dome of each of 
those recipients open two conduits, one leading vertically from 
the main reservoir, the second horizontally from the basin, 
which receives the water falling from above on the hydraulic 
wheel. The arrangement is completed by a seK-acting regu- 
lator fitted to the conduits of the air magazines, and by entry 
and egress valves in the water mains. On opening the sluice 
of the main reservoir, the hydraulic wheel is set in motion, 
and expends its entire force in working the air-compressing 
appai^tus with which it is connected. The air thus com- 
pressed passes, as before described, into the flexible reservoirs 


of the hydro-atmosplieric wheel, expands them, and generates 
a given amount of force, a portion of which is set aside as in* 
dependent power, while the surplus is applied to the com- 
pression of a provision of air in the magazines, by means of 
the second compressing apparatus above mentioned. The 
water falling from the main reservoir on the hydraulic wheel 
having in &e meantime filled the two metadlic recipients 
below, and covered the collapsed flexible reservoirs enclosed 
in them, the communication is opened between the magazines 
and one of the air conduits, the flexible reservoirs correspond- 
ing with this conduit are distended by the expansion of the 
compressed air thus admitted and displacing of the water by 
which they are covered, a quantity corresponding with their 
bulk force it to ascend the vertical conduit, by which it is 
thrown back to the main reservoir. The regulator then 
coming into play turns the current of compressed air into the 
conduit of the second recipient, and at the same time opens 
the communication between the atmosphere and the flexible 
reservoirs just distended. The latter collapse, the column of 
water remaining in the vertical main closes the valve through 
which it had passed, while the counter^pressure from the 
water of the basin opens the valve of the horizontal conduit, 
and again admits the water to the recipient. In the mean- 
time the flexible reservoirs of the second recipient being in- 
flated by the compressed air admitted through the regulator 
displace in their turn the water by which they are covered, 
and throw it back in the same way to the main reservoir 
above the hydraulic wheel. The apparatus thus set in motion 
continues its action as long as required, and in maintaining a 
constant reflux of the water expended enables the main reser- 
voir to replace the natural fiEill in all localities where the 
latter may be imattainable. 

From the above details it will be understood that in locali- 
ties possessing a natural watercourse the motor is composed 
of three elements ; firstly, the hydraulic wheel acted on by 
the current, and producing a force of^ say, for instance, 10 
horse-power ; secondly, an air-compressing apparatus worked 
by the hydraulic wheel, and absorbing the totality of its 
power; thirdly, the hydro-atmospheric wheel placed in a 
reservoir or basin apart, and connected with the air-compress- 
ing apparatus, which, in distending at a given moment the 

§iniMtf ftm t finm mtmttUA on ihe dreamfefcnee of the 
w\i4ftAf $^m nm to mi $mt$fimmtMk mdepcndent £aroe pro- 
pffhUfti^i Up ih^ deip'oe of maaeimtm md di^lacement, n j, 
»/r imUme^f dO k^ie-power^ or triple tluU of the h jdimolic 

WtiMi^ on ilio oilier iMmd, » nstund current or fiJI is nn- 
nMnkimifUf it Veeomen neeeiiMiiy, m tbore noted, to fasTe re- 
O^/ttfMo io the mtpplementarj spparatns jnst described. In 
ibid IMMO the reionroir toppljing the artificial fall takee the 
pUoo irt iho tiattiral watorcourse, sets in motion the hydraulic 
wh^^iilf ttiMli bjr the tfamo prcxi^eM as above, giyes rise to the 
Mime rnnmni (ft force in the hydro-atmospheric wheel, say, 30 
k</f M(i«powiir« A portion of this power, say, for instance, one- 
iiiird Of 10 homo-power, is absorbed in the movements by 
whl(5h the water o%pondod on the hydraulic wheel is thrown 
biok U} itn scmroo, while the surplus, say, 20 horse-power, 
fetnttltii as Indopondent power, to be applied as may be desired, 
ttt a word, witli a natural fall, the primitive force of the 
hvdrailllo whool is multiplied in the movement of the hydro- 
iiniUM{)horlo whool to which it is transmitted, as above, and 
iiitiM mtdtinliod may bo applied directly as positive power. 
Whmi, on ttio oontrory, the absence of a natural current necea- 
ailatiM rooonmo to the artificial fall above described, a portion 
only of tho mnltitdiod force developed by the hydro-atmo- 
«)ilti»rio wheel can uo disposed of as independent power, the 
MUrplUi botttg absorbed in tho movement of the apparatus by 
wtiii>U iho nHiuired wator level is constantly maintained in 
th« luatn nwt^'viUr. 

tl i« iie«dlt^« to observe, that tho hydraulic wheel by which 
Ihia prtmary l^vree is imHhiced as above, may be replaced by 
any \M\^ mol\\r^ and Uiat the compressed atmospheric air 
adi^pliHt an i>xaiuple Uironghout the preceding description, 
vtmf i\\ <d«iHxUu eaiM be rt>plac<}d by other aerifiorm fluids. 

Th(« pal<4\l xraa w<id<4, and a final (|)^.ification duly filed, 
a\x\n^ ^i^ A iMTg^ ilUi»traUx\' «h<H>l cmlaining dnwinga of 
<%t^l A|^l>^<iW%MUn^ dH> pn^i^" d^nstroction of the eDioxataoB 
mtitc^\^n^^ )\>r i«iean« «^f which iho pattdntiee pixipo^ies to raalina 
yiMl^irtml nh>li^^<% |K« lax^«K»l«of amilLorsimilar 
fbi^^. Ai^ttkii^g M<ei« {MhefKKterMtt it i«^ .ia^ossihle 


imagine hmnan perversity capable of perpetrating a& a lasting 
monument — not of fame, but of folly. 

1860. — John Ambbose Coffbt [No. 60], Finsbury, London, 
engineer. '^ Improvements in Obtaining and Applying Mo* 
tive Power by Means of Ponderous Bodies." 

The invention consists in utilizing the force of gravity or 
pressure in connection with suitable mechanism, to produce a 
prime mover available for various purposes by means of the 
action, as hereafter set forth, of ponderous bodies possessing 
mobility, such, for instance, as a body of water or of mercury, 
the system of mechanism which he now deems suitable being 
an arrangement of buckets or similar receptacles, pistons, and 
other mechanism hereafter described, whereby the weight of 
the water shall be caused to act in connection with these 
mechanical arrangements, so as to set and keep the mechanism 
going, such weight of water being prevented &om acting pre- 
judicially to the economizing of the motive force. For these 
purposes he constructs a tank or cistern, which is open at the 
top, having on each side standards or framing, in which, at a 
suitable height above the said main cistern, are bearings for 
the axle of a bucket wheel placed vertically, similar to an 
overshot water-wheel ; and also for the top rigger or pulley- 
wheel. Over which upper rigger or wheel, as also over the 
lower rigger or wheel or rollers, there is passed an endless 
chain or band, which passes through and carries a number of 
plungers or pistons, which are made so as to fit loosely in a 
water-cylinder, fixed vertically (to one of the said standards), 
and so that these pistons shall, when descending, pass 
through it from top to bottom, the lower end of this water- 
cylinder being placed in such conjunction with the water- 
w^eel, as that, by means of a spout at the bottom of the said 
water-cylinder, the water dripping out with the plungers 
as they come through the orifice provided at the bottom of 
the cylinder for that purpose shidl fall into the topmost of 
the descending buckets of the water-wheel, the orifice at the 
bottom of the water-cylinder being so proportioned to the 
diameter of the pistons that it shaU be water-tight, and thus 
the only water dripping out with the exit of the plungers 
will be the quantity of water drawn between one piston and 
another. The water-wheel has teeth on one side o£ the whole 


periphery, wbicli serve to take into teeth in a yertical rigger 
or wheel, situate in the main cistern, which last-mentioned 
rigger gives motion to an endless chain travelling under it, 
such chain passing upwards and carrying buckets for raising 
water arranged so as to have their mouths upwards as they 
ascend, and downwards as they descend; this endless chain 
or band being supported at top upon a rigger or wheel, 
secured by its axle in bearings in the standards, aii upper 
oistem being fixed to the said standards or framing immedi* 
ately beneath this last-mentioned rigger or wheel. From 
the upper cistern proceeds a water-pipe, which passes to the 
funnel-shaped top of the water-cylinder. To put this engine 
to work, water is supplied to the top of the water-cylinder, 
which may be readily done by its funnel top, and also to 
such of the buckets of the water-wheel as ^all be in the 
position to receive the same, and likewise to the main cistern 
when the weight or pressure of the column of water upon 
the pistons in the water-cylinder and in the buckets on the 
water-wheel causes the endless chain of pistons to travel, 
carrying the water-wheel round, which, by its toothed peri- 
phery, acts upon the aforesaid lower rigger belonging to the 
endless chain of water-raising buckets, and thus not only is 
motion obtained by the gravity, weight, or pressure of the 
column of water acting upon the said pistons and the buckets 
of the water-wheel, but water is taken up out of the main 
cistern by the water-raising buckets aforesaid, and discharged 
into the upper cistern, whence it flows to and feeds the water- 
cylinder at the top, thus keeping up the due supply of water 
necessary to the continuous movement of the mechanism. 
Instead of the water-cylinder and its conjunct system of 
endless band of pistons being arranged as described, these 
plungers or pistons may be made hollow, with a valve at one 
end of each piston or plunger, which is to be so placed on the 
endless band that the valve shall be at the lower end when 
passing down the water-cylinder, and at the top when passing 
up out of the same, the endless chain being in this case 
carried down into the main cistern. The effect of which 
arrangement will be that the valves of the pistons will be 
open when passing through the main cistern and let water 
into the pistons, which will hence be carried up to supply the 
upper cistern, which in this case will be placed immediately 
beneaHh Hhe rigger carrying the endless band of pistons; the 


said pistons when passing througli the water-cylinder having 
the valves closed by the upward pressure of the water, by 
which arrangements the necessity of having the water-raising 
band and buckets described is dispensed with. 

Or buckets may be used instead of pistons, such buckets 
being so arranged as to enter the water-cylinder with their 
mouths downwards, and to go up out of the cylinder with 
their mouths upwards, carrying water from the main cistern 
to supply the upper cistern ; but such arrangement is not 
recommended. By having the pistons or buckets to move on 
the endless chain or band with pins on the chain and slots in 
the pistons, the same may be caused to close up together 
when descending and to lengthen out when ascending, and 
thus greater power may be rendered available. It is fSso to 
be observed that the rigger or wheel at the bottom under 
which the endless band of water-raising buckets passes, and 
which is driven by the teeth on the water-wheel, must be 
much smaller than the annulus of teeth, so as to have greater 
speed than the water-wheel, as without this arrangement it 
will be evident there will be a loss of power. Where a 
stream or flow of water can be procured, power may be obtained 
by means of a water-wheel or machine, which is a wheel with 
a number of hollow arms with funnel-shaped mouths at the 
ends arranged, as is the case with the overshot water-wheel, 
80 that on the descending side the water receptacles (the 
hollow arms and adjuncts) shall remain full, and on the as- 
cending side shall empty themselves ; the water to supply the 
wheel entering by the axle, which is hollow, and communicat- 
ing with the hollow arms on the descending side only, by 
reason that there is an oriflce or waterway in the said hollow 
axle which opens to the descending arms only, thus cutting 
off the water from those ascending. 

He remarks that although he has described the arrange- 
ments he deems best, that it is evident various modifications 
might be adopted should the circumstances require them ; and 
further that he has considered it unnecessary to illustrate the 
modus operandi of the invention by drawings and detailed 
description of parts, deeming the foregoing statement sufficient 
for the practical man. 

1860. — Chablbb Thomas Boutbt [No. 79], of London, 
mechanician, engineer. ''A new Mover applicable to all 

234 PEBPETUI7H mobuje; 

Branches of Industry, and Designed to Beplace the Bteam, 
the Aero-hydraulic Moyer." 

The apparatus is composed of — 1°, a basin or recipient fall 
of water ; 2*", two pedestals with coussinets fixed in the 
interior centre of each longitudinal side of the recipient ; 3*, 
a mover axe in the coussinets ; 4°, two iron cross-bars fixed 
on the axe destined for the supporting of the cups or balloons; 
6% four wooden cups lined with zinc, and coyered with an 
air-tight cloth, which gives it the shape of a balloon when 
the cup is swelled ; 6°, a counterpoise adapted to the lining is 
designed to send back the air from one cup to the other when 
they are come to the perpendicular line ; 7**, a tube whose 
each extremity is fixed in an opening practised at the bottom 
of the cups, and giving a circular freedom to the air when it 
is pressed by the counterpoise. 

General Considerations, — My system has for its foundation 
air and water, and for its principle the difference that there is 
between the weight of a volume of air and that of the same 
volume of water. Thus, for instance, if a litre of water 
(1 cubic decimetre = 1 • 760773 pint") weighs about 1 kilo- 
gramme, the weight of a litre of air is nearly nothing. If a 
smaU balloon be plunged, cubing a Htre of air, in a basin of 
water, it is evident that it will rise rapidly and naturally on 
the surface, and in rising it will be able to raise a load of 
nearly a kilogramme, and that a balloon cubing 100 litres 
will raise 100 kilogrammes. The power is always thus cal- 
culated beforehand, and may be increased at pleasure, conse- 
quently the use of these two elements one against the other 
must produce a mover, and a mover so much tilie more power- 
ful as its power is infinite and its velocity is excessive ; it may 
be applied to all motions, as it possesses all the flexibility and 
elasticity of the steam, without having its inconvenience. 

The expenses for the construction of the apparatus is twenty 
times less than a steam engine of the same power, as it 
su£&ces to itself, that is to say, that it does not want any com- 
bustible nor any other expensive aliment ; it may be placed 
anywhere, even in the centre of towns, without incommoding 
the neighbours, as it does not make neither noise, nor dust, 
nor smell, nor even smoke. It does not require any special 
locality, because it performs in a portable basin ; at last, it 
may be employed as a mover in railways and navigation ; its 


yelocity may be multiplied without fearing neither explosions 
nor incendiaries, nor any danger. 

1861. — Thomas Chablbs Boutbt [No. 1224], Camberwell, 
London, civil engineer. "Improvements in Obtaining and 
Applying Motive Power by Aero-hydraulic Means." 

Tlus motor, which I call the aero-hydraulic motor, has for 
its basis the employment of air and water in their natural 
condition, and its principles are, 1st, the pressure exercised 
from the lower to the upper part by the fluid, in accordance 
with Pascal's principle ; 2nd, the appUcation of the hydranUc 
paradox ; and 3rd, new principles discovered by myself. 

The apparatus consists of a certain number of impervious 
air chambers flxed on a moveable axis in the centre of a tank 
full of water. The air chambers communicate with each other 
by means of tubes, which allow the air to circulate when the 
fastenings flxed to the tubes or air chambers are open. Sup- 
pose, for example, only two air chambers of the same size 
fixed vertically upon a horizontal and moveable axis ; the air 
chamber which is at the bottom of the water is full of air, 
while the one on the surfSiu^e is empty. If the fastening is 
opened, the air pressed by the body of water remounts imme- 
diately from the lower into the upper air chamber, and lifts 
up a piston rod with a force in proportion to the size, or 
rather, to the surface of the air chamber. The piston rod, 
upon the axis of which is fixed a fly-wheel, transmits the 
motion to the axis from the tank, either by means of toothed 
wheels or galls, chains or a connecting rod with an eccentric, 
80 that every turn of the piston forces down the chamber 
filled with air to the bottom of the tank, whilst the other 
ascends, and so on in succession, and thus a continual motion 
is obtained. K a greater number of air chambers be placed 
on a wheel or diaphragm, and the pressure of several air 
chambers is applied to fill a single one, incalculable force may 
be obtained. The fastenings are opened and shut successively 
by the motion of the apparatus, by means of pins or projections 
fixed in the inside of tibe tank. 

This motor is applicable to all branches of industry, and 
may be employed in scales, cranes, and presses ; it would be 
useless to explain the innumerable advantages of this machine, 
it is su£&cient to say that the construction is both simple and 

236 PEBPBTXJUM mobile; 

easy, it costs very little, it requires no combustible or other 
expansible substance, and produces neither noise, dust, smell, 
or smoke ; it may be placed in the centre of towns, and on 
every floor of a house without inconvenience to any one. In 
applying it to railroads and navigation, its speed in- 
creased to any extent without fear of Are, explosion, or any 
other danger. 

1860. — Gbobgb Augustus Huddabt [No. 342], of Brynkir, 
Caernarvon, gentleman. '^ Improvements in Apparatus for 
Obtaining Motive Power." 

Eelating to a novel mode of applying the principle of 
buoyancy for obtaining motive power. For this purpose I 
set around the periphery of a wheel, or mount upon an end- 
less belt or chain a series of compressible air vessels at equal 
distances apart, and these I connect together in pairs by air 
tubes. The air vessels I furnish with a weight which is free 
to move in parallel guides as the wheel which carries them 
rotates, and by its downward pressure the weight compresses 
the air vessel to which it is attached, forcing tiie air through 
the air tube in connection with the air vessel to the air vessel 
on the opposite side of the wheel, in which, at the same time^ 
a vacuum is formed or being formed by the drag of its own 
weight, which is now attaining or has attained a pendent 
position. The apparatus I immerse in water or other Hquid, 
and the expanded vessels being on one side of the wheel, 
while those on the other side are more or less in a state of 
collapse, will by their buoyancy move round the wheel and 
cause the collapsed vessels in their turn to expand and 
receive the air from the ascending vessels, and thereby 
become the ascending vessels or propelling power of the 
wheel. It will thus be understood that as the vessels attain 
a position in which their respective weights will act upon the 
air contained therein, and force it down the air conductors, 
they will severally become compressed, and the vessels oppo- 
site thereto will expand and receive the air thus expelled, the 
vessels on the descending side, therefore, of the whoel will 
not expand until they attain their lowest position, and those 
on the ascending side of the wheel will not be compressed 
and have the air wholly excluded therefrom, until they have 
Attained their highest position. 


I have described a dead weight as the means of compressing 
and expanding the collapsible vessels, but I also propose to 
use any mechanical equivalent therefor. 

1860. — JoHANN Eenst Fbibdeich Ludekb [No. 684], of 
Hanover, residing at Wolverhampton, Stafford, gentleman. 
" Improvements in Obtaining Motive Power by means of cer- 
tain Fluid Bodies, and in the Apparatus connected therewith." 

Eelates to certain mechanicsJ. arrangements acting in con- 
junction with fluid bodies of great specific gravity for obtain- 
ing motive power. The fluid I employ is mercury placed in 
suitable cisterns or chambers, acted upon by a number of thin 
sheets or plates of metal placed vertically side by side. 
Between two open fluid cisterns I place on an axis, equally 
balanced, a becun or lever free to oscillate on its centre in a 
vertical direction ; to each end of this beam is connected a 
series of thin sheets or plates of metal, placed parallel, side 
by side, in a vertical position, with an intervening space 
between each plate ; each series of plates is covered on the 
top by a shallow cap, the purpose of which is to keep the top 
of the plates surroimded and enclosed by a body of air ; each 
plate above mentioned is so formed or arranged by known 
means that, when required, its surface can be greatly extended 
or diminished, as desired ; this is necessary for accomplishing 
the object of my invention, which is based upon the following 
discovery, viz. that the resistances offered to the immersion 
of a thin plate in a body of mercury is proportionate to the 
superficial area of the plate. To retain, therefore, a series of 
plates, the areas of wluch are the greater beneath the surface 
of the mercury, requires more power than is required for the 
submersion of a series the areas of which are the less. The 
beam, as before mentioned, is provided at each end with a 
series of plates, which are plunged beneath the surface of 
mercury in the cisterns, and so long as the superficial area 
of each series of plates remains equal (the other part of the 
machine being equally balanced on the axis), the whole 
remains in equilibrium ; but on extending the surface of the 
plates in one series, the end of the beam to which such series 
is attached will be lifted by the rising of the plates towards 
the surface of the mercury, and by alternately extending and 
diminishing the surface of the plates in each of the series, a 

238 PESPBTUUK mobile; 

reciprocating motion will be imparted to the beam, which 
motion may be applied by known means to a variety of nBefal 

1860. — JoHANN Ernst Fbiedeich Ludekb [No. 1090], of 
Marke, Hanover. "Improvements in Motive-power Engines.^ 

I avail myself of the peculiar property which I have dis- 
covered fluids to possess, and which consists in their exerting 
upon bodies in the shape or form of plates, discs, or sheets 
when immersed in such fluids, a repelling action causing the 
said bodies to emerge from, move, or rise in such fluids with 
a force which iucreases with the increase of the superficial 
area of such plates, discs, or sheets relatively to their volume; 
in other words, the more area such plates, discs, or sheets 
offer, in proportion to the space they occupy, the greater will 
be the force with which they will emerge from, move, or rise 
in the fluid. 

Quicksilver or mercury is the fluid which I use in pre- 
ference to all others as producing the best results, and the 
substance of which the plates, discs, or sheets are made must 
be such as will neither amalgamate nor combine nor coalesce 
with the mercury. Now, in order to develop power through 
the instrumentality of the action of fluids upon bodies herein 
above referred to, I place two or more thiu plates, discs, or 
sheets together so as to form one surface of two or more times 
the thic£ies8 of each separate plate, disc, or sheet, and thus 
I immerse them in a vessel containing mercury, and whilst 
they are so immersed I separate the said plates, discs, or 
sheets from each other, whereby they will offer two or more 
times the area, and emerge or rise with a corresponding 
increased force. Or, inst^id of placing two or more thin 
plates together and then separating them as described, I 
make use of a sheet of caoutchouc, or other suitable flexible 
material, immersing such sheet stretched on a suitable frame, 
in its collapsed, or natural, or odIj slightly expanded state, 
and then stretching or expanding it to twice its area, or more 
or less. It is evident that, by increasing the number of and 
connecting such plates, discs, or sheets, any desirable aocn- 
mulation of force can be obtained, and that by the applicaticm 
of levers or other well-known mechanism they can be made to 
produce rotary or reciprocating motion, as in steam ot other 



motiTe-power engines. I prefer to combine two series or 
sets of such plates, discs, or sheets, to act in concert, the one 
immerging whilst the other emerges, or receding whilst the 
other advances. 

1864.— JoHANN Ebnst Fbiedbioh Ludbkb [No. 2648], of 
London ; and Daniel Wilokens, of Union Square, Surrey. 
" Improvements in Motive Power by Capillary Attraction." 

Our invention consists of improvements in motive power 
by capillary attraction constructed as follows : — 

Figure 1 of the accompanying drawings represents in 
horizontal section a square case or cistern ; this cistern is filled 
with water nearly to the top, and two wheels marked a, a, and 
&, &, are placed in the water in the cistern. By capillary 
attraction the water rises between the two wheels marked a;, x, 
to a height above the level of the water in proportion to the 
distance of the wheels from each other at x, x. As the water 
rises between the wheels marked x, x, above its level, the 
weight of water between the wheels at x, x, will cause the 
wheels to continually revolve. 

FIG .2. 

Figure 2 represents the same as Figure 1, but in a 
vertical section. The said power may be obtained by wheels 
moved on axis, or by other apparatus by rise and fall in the 
water by vertical motion. 

1865. — JoHANN Ebnst Fbiedbioh Ludeke [No. 1874], of 
Islington, London. "Improvements in Motive Power by 
Capillary Attraction." 

My invention consists of a machine working by capillary 
attraction in maimer following, viz. by rotary wheels, or by 

240 PERPETUUM mobile; 

perpendicular or horizontal apparatus ; the wheels or romid 
plates I prefer. 

I take two wheels or round plates, which may be perforated 
or otherwise, and I set them on axles ; these I place so that 
the edges or rims of the two plates or wheels i&all be close 
or nearly touch one another at one side, but be a further dis- 
tance off on the other or opposite side. I do not confine my- 
self to the distance that shall separate them, this being 
requisite according to the requirement of a greater or less 
power ; neither do I confine myself to two wheels or plates, 
as the more wheels or plates used so will the power be 
increased. The space between the two plates or wheels I fill 
or partly fill as may be necessary with sponge, felt, india- 
rubber, or any other substance that will have a like effect. 
The same results may be obtained by a horizontal or perpen- 
dicular movement in the following way : — Two rods or bars 
increased in size towards the ends and acting on a centre or 
pivot in an up-and-down or side-to-side motion, the ends 
being fitted with the sponge or other material suitable for 
attraction, and the ends alternatively coming in contact with 
the liquid will cause an increase of weight, causing them to 
descend, and the opposite ends being so constructed that they 
shall come together, so as to compress or force the water out 
and so cause it to rise by reason of it being lighter, but as 
before said, I do not confine myself to this form or method. 
The wheels, plates, or apparatus I place in any vessel or tank 
capable of holding water, which I fill to a distance, more or 
less, as may be necessary, with water, quicksilver, or any 
other liquid whatever, but I do not confine myself to the use 
of a tank or vessel, as the same result may be effected by the 
water or liquid being poured from above in any way. Having 
placed my machine in the way above described, it will be seen 
that the capillary attraction will take the wheels or plates 
down on one side by reason of the over-weight caused by the 
attraction of the water to the sponge or other substance used ; 
the effect of the wheels or plates being closer together at one 
side than the other is, that the water or other liquid will be 
squeezed or forced to the other side, thereby assisting or 
giving over-weight, and so causing the wheels or plates to 
revolve, which they will continue to do without further power 
or assistance. 


lu the accompanying diagram is shown in horizontal ecctioii 
an iron or other caee or compartment in the shape of a double' 
blow bellows or other eon- 
vetiient form marked A, 
oiie side of which from B 
to C worka on a pivot or 
centre, causing one end of 
the case or compartment to 
be open or expanded, and 
the other to be contracted 
or closed ; this is placed on c 
a beam or axle which may, 
if required, be constructed to 
oscillate, or the same may 
work on a pivot or pivots, op 
in any other manner, and 
at the ends may be affixed cranks, wheels, levers, bars, &c., 
for multiplying or transferring power. I now take a series 
of sheets or plates of perforated iron or other metal, gutta- 
percha, india-rubber, vulcanized or not, wirework, or other 
substance of anch size and thickness as may be required ; 
I put these inside the case or compartment in a perpendicalar 
position at equal distances apart. Oil one side of each sheet 
or plate I fix in any manner sponge, cotton, wool, flannel, felt, 
or any other material of an absorbing nature. I put this 
about an inch thick, more or less; I now fill the case oi- 
compartment with water, quicksilver, or other liquid, the 
effect of which is, that by the movement of the moveable 
• side of the case or compartment (which can he done by any 
mechanical construction connected with the machine when in 
motion) one end is closed, thereby causing the water or liquid 
by means of attraction to flow to the other side ; this creates 
an over-weight, which will take that end of the case or ocmi- 
partment in the shape of a blow bellows down, and again by 
giniilar mechanical contrivance the end so descending is 
gradually closed or contracted, by which means the water 
or liquid goes to the opposite side, which is by the same 
movement opened or expanded; this is caused by attraction ; 
as this is alternative, a movement of an np-and-down motion 
takes place, which vill be found to he continual so loi^ as 
the liquid remains. At bo th ends of the case or compartment 


are affixed a liandle or joint to which may be attached any 
kind of machinery, such as cranks, levers, bars, bands or 
straps, wheels, pistons, &c., in the nsnal manner. The case 
or compartment may be effectually closed, so that no air be 
admitted, and the sheets or plates may be arranged in an 
horizontal or any other position. It will be foimd that the 
power given is by atlaraction, contraction, and repulsion. I 
do not confine myself to any particular kind of sheets or 
plates, nor yet to the particular construction of the machine, 
as herein described and drawn. I merely show it as one of 
many ways by which power can be obtained by capillary at- 
traction. The same is adapted for all purposes for propelling 
all descriptions of carriages both by road and rail, ships, and 
for all machines of every description whatever where power is 
required, from the smallest to the largest, and for the purposes 
of light and heat. 

I claim as my discovery or invention new improvements in 
motive power by capillary attraction, contraction, and repul- 
sion, which is applicable as before said to all purposes where 
motive power is required, and to all machines, the expense of 
working same being nothing must at once establish its great 
usefulness. I merely illustrate in one or two ways how the 
same may be effected, but I do not confine myself to these 
methods or to the particular shape of the parts as drawn ; they 
must be made or adapted according to the size and require- 
ments of the machine and the power required. I propose to 
use wheels, plates, sheets, &c,, perforated or otherwise, or with 
or without wire or other substance, and any known material 
for padding, &c., between the plates or wheels as above de- 
scribed, and in conjunction with my invention or part giving 
the power. I use every known description of machinery, such 
as pistons, piston-rods, levers, cranks, bars, cylinders, pipes, 
&c., as m^/be necessary for the multiplyig or transferring 
power as usual. 

1860. — AuGUSTB Lacomme [No. 1117], London. "An 
Apparatus, the Pneumato-liquid Mover, applicable to all 
Branches of Industry which require a first Prime Power." 
Its principles has the physical law that a body plunged in 
liquid loses of its weight the volume of the displaced liquid, 
that is to say, by inverted reason, any object lighter than a 


liquid must reasceud to the surface a weight equivalent to the 
specific heaveness of this liquid, by reason of the lightiness 
[sic] of the volume of the object. This apparatus is com- 
posed as follows : — No. 1. A reservoir filled with any liquid 
whatever. 2. A prismatic axis ; the number of sides is more 
or less large according to the power that one wishes to give 
to the apparatus, that is to say, it may be hexagonal, octan- 
gular, decagon, etc. 3. A pivot at each extremity of the axis, 
which rest on cousinets, or vises of pression, is supported on 
each side of the reservoir. 4. A hole on every longitudinal 
surface of this prismatic axis comes to the opposed parallel 
surface (none of these holes meets in the same direction). 

6. A lever mor [m'c] or less long, according to the power that 
one wishes to give, goes through each of the holes practiced 
on the longitudinal surface of the axis; this lever slides 
easily from one extremity to the other. 6. A hollow reci- 
pient in the shape of a balloon, closed hermeticaly, filled 
either with air or gas, is at each extremity of this lever. 

7. A toothed wheel (No. 1) is fixed at an extremity of the 
prismatic axis ; this wheel works into another wheel. No. 2, 
with the assistance of several pinions. 8. Another wheel. 
No. 2, working with the wheel No. 1, causes the crank No. 9 
to move. 9. A crank moves by the wheel No. 2 ; it commu- 
nicates to a piston, which, by the rotiation given to it by the 
wheel No. 2, sends from top to bottom the lever which pre- 
sent itself to the perpendicular line. 

This apparatus has for object to obtain a first prime power 
without having recourse to any other thing than liquid and 
gas. It works in this maimer: — The prismatic axis No. 2 
run through by levers No. 5, which have each at their ex- 
tremity an empty recipient, hermeticaly closed, No. 6 ; for 
instance, the apparatus is three feet hight ; the 
octangular axis is fixed in the middle; the 
levers have a foot and a half, comprising 
the recipient. As these levers are con- 
stantely repulsed towards the axis by the < 
driving piston, whenever they come to the per- 
pendicular they describe a curve of three feet 
in diameter; and this work is always a first 
prime mover as far as the perpendicular, the actintg levers 
try to reascend. This is the effect of it : — 

B 2 

244 PERPETUUM mobile; 

It is easely to understand that the ascendent impelling 
force is powerful and the resistance small. 

When the motion is one [sic,] given it becomes constant, as 
it obtains the continued rotation ; the lever, which is on the 
perpendicular, must be send [sic] to the inferior part of the 
apparatus. This object is attained by the means of a piston 
crank or a wheel ; the piston strikes invariably on the reci- 
pient, when it comes on the perpendicular, by the rotation of 
the axis ; it drives down the recipient, sends it back near the 
axis, and, consequentely, the lever is precipitated in all its 
lentil to the botton of the reservoir, where it assumes again 
the ascendant force, and comes again to the perpendicular to 
be again driven down, etc. 

1860. — Alfred Arthur [No. 1493], of the Polygon, 
Southampton, civil engineer. "Obtaining and Applying 
Motive Power." The object is to obtain continuous move* 
ment by atmospheric and hydraulic pressure, and consists of 
two cylinders or hollow tubes, circular, square, triangular, 
polygonal, or other form, which contain water in equilibrium, 
and are either internally or externally encased at either end 
by hollow tubes of the same form containing valves, which 
are internally fitted at either end. As the cylinder rises it 
causes the water to rise between the valves, and descending 
by its own weight causes the water to overflow the top of 
tube or cylinder, and rush over an overshot breast or undeiv 
shot wheel, which wheel imparts to the tubes an alternate 
vertical motion by rods, cranks, eccentrics, hydrostatic ba- 
lance, or similar appliances. The number of strokes of the 
tubes is multiplied at will by meand of tooth wheels, or 
wheel and eccentrics applied to the wheel propelled by the 
water. Instead of the aforesaid wheel, turbines can be used, 
the water descending a vertical tube over an encased wheel, 
imparting its motion, as before, to the alternately ascending 
and descending tubes. Also by hydraulic pressure, by in- 
verting the valves at bottom of tubes, which alternately 
become fixed columns of water, and press by means of levers 
on the rising cylinder. In this case the wheel can be dis- 
pensed with. The hydraulic press is added at will to increase 
its power ad infinitum. 


1860. — Claude Joseph Napoleon Eeboub [No. 1681], of 
Paris, engineer. " A new Motive Power, so caUed Eebour's 
Motor." My invention refers to a new motive power, which 
I wish to be called " Eebour's Motor." 

Ever since the first dawn of civilization gravity was consi- 
dered as an inherent difficulty or obstacle to all movement, 
to all locomotion, and all ancient and modem inventions 
tending to aid the work of men or the locomotion of things 
only served to decompose gravity, or to overcome its effects 
by means diametrically opposed to the conditions which are 
peculiar thereto. The said motor in utilizing gravity is a 
new application of the laws of the descent of bodies ; it is 
consecrated by experience in two different ways. 

The first manner consists in causing two cylindric weights 
of a power superior to that required, in order to overcome 
the inertia produced by any charge to rest upon two carriage 
wheels, said weights or solid wheels being connected by an 
axis, which sets them apart at the same distance as the car- 
riage wheels. When these two solid wheels are on the 
vertical line passing through their centre of gravity, and on 
that of the wheels upon which they rest, they remain sta- 
tionary ; but if they are removed from that line by the hand 
of man, and if their axis is made to rest upon any point 
animated with a continual motion ever rep^duced at the 
same point, and, consequently, unable to afford a rigid sup- 
port, a breaking out of the equilibrium will naturally ensue, 
and the two wheels will produce a motion opposite to this 
change of the centre of gravity. 

Let us suppose a man at rest. When he wishes to move ' 
h^ is compelled to break the equilibrium, by carrying his 
body out of the vertical line passing through his centre of 
gravity. When he wishes to increase his speed, he is com- 
pelled to augment the change of the same centre of gravity, 
and if at that moment the motion of his legs were not quicker, 
the fall of his body would inevitably result therefrom. The 
displacement of a man's legs merely represent two radii of 
the periphery of a circle set apart from each other in a man- 
ner nearly alike; the breaking of his equilibrium produces 
the motion in the direction of the breaking, whilst the appli- 
cation of that principle to my invention produces the move- 
ment in an opposite direction. 


This inyention is adverse to all the ideas admitted up to 
this day, the learned still pretending that a weight whatever 
cannot produce an effect unless it operates a fall. But new 
ideas beget progress ; and have not new ideas been brought 
to light these centuries past, and may not new ones again 
spring besides those admitted to this day? God's work is 
not at an end. Let us consider the motion of a man tra- 
versing a space, and we will see that there is no falling of 
his body; displacement is only owing to his equilibrium 
being broken ; it is not his muscular strength, nor his wish 
of displacement, which produce his backward or forward 
motion, for he would stand motionless on the perpendicular 
line if he could not break his equilibrium. If, beside the 
point of contact of the two cylindrical weights or wheels, 
there were no empty space, the breaking of the equilibrium 
would prove impossible, and so would it equally prove, if^ 
out of their centre of gravity, the axes of the two super- 
posed wheels could meet a rigid fulcrum ; in such a case the 
weight of the two wheels would be decomposed in three dif- 
ferent ways, one part on the vertical line passing through 
their centre of gravity, and two parts from the fulcrum, back 
to front, or front to back, inertia would be the consequence 
of that decomposition. The same result would be produced 
in the progress forward of a man ceasing to make use of his 
muscular force ; the placing of a finger on his forehead would 
poise the change of centre of gravity, which was detemuning 
his displacement, and he would stand motionless. This ob- 
servation I will exemplify. Supposing both basins of a scale 
loaded with an equal weight, if you only add one grain to 
one of the basins, the equilibriimi shall be broken ; one grain 
of resistance will then su£&ce to re-establish the equilibrium. 
The confirmation of the principle . upon which I ground 
my invention may also result from all displacement and 
tracting attempts, which can yield no effective work unless 
they act out ' of the centre of gravity of the object to be 

Let us refer to the effects produced by a locomotive. — Its 
construction and weight rest upon a frame, which is itself 
supported by six wheels. The setting apart of the wheels 
depends upon the said frame ; when the steam is concentrated 
in the boUer it acts powerfully against the sides of the said 


boiler, but as soon as the engineer lets the steam into the 
cylinder a pressure is exerted on the piston, which is caused 
to move to and fro on the whole length of the cylinder. 
Should the action of the same piston be concentrated on the 
centre of the wheels which are to be set in motion, the pres- 
sure would be equally distributed to the centre of the back 
train wheels, and to the centre of the wheels which are to be 
rotated, and therefore all motion would be impossibly, owing 
to this joint liability. The motion of the earth is also a 
proof of the same principle. Might not its rotation upon 
itself be owing to a change of its centre of gravity produced 
by the sun acting on its circumference, whose rays dry and 
lighten the surface, and thus determine its motion ? Let us 
suppose a ball resting on an axis, and having a wet coating 
over its whole circumference; if any part of it should be 
dried by any suitable means, the part of the circumference, 
uudried, and consequently heavier, will take the place of the 
dried part, for this very reason, that the weaker must ever 
yield to the stronger. All that bears some connection with 
this idea is termed by the learned perpetual motion. But it 
is not the perpetual motion that I have invented, such at 
least as the learned understand it. I suppose, when they 
declare it to be impossible, that is to say, a self-generating 
motion perpetuated by a never-wearing-out machine, for, 
could we only admit this condition of everlasting, a wheel 
placed in the stream of the Seine would rotate eternally. 

The drawings annexed to the description will show this 
new application of the descent of bodies out of their centre 
of gravity, which they wiU tend in vain to find again. 

The second manner of utilizing gravity applied as produc- 
tive of motion to stationary machines, both on sea and land, 
slightly differs from the first given, though it is still grounded 
on the same principle. Instead of supposing the wheels 
superposed, I make use of the load placed on a two-wheel 
carriage, requiring, as is usually the case, a tracting power 
to make it move. This load will become a power by raising 
the shafts to a desired height and in such a manner that the 
change of the centra of gravity of the load will determine the 
forward motion. In this still prevails the application of the 
same law, the descent of bodies, which, on falling down, ever 
tend to foUow the vertical line passing through their centre 

248 PEBPBTUUic mobile; 

of gravity, and onlj stop when meeting a rigid support in 
the same line. 

Fig. A demonstrates geometrically my invention ; it will 
show theoretically the principle thereof, and from mathema- 
tical law its power will be inferred. 

[A confused lengthy description of the mechanical arrange- 
nients follow, succeeded by remarks, which show that mamial 
labour is recommended as an accessory. But the preceding 
fanatical statements, together with the annexed diagram of this 
stationary « Motor,' render further information superfluous.] 

I860.— William Edwaed Gbdgb [No. 2012], Wellington 
Street, London ; communicated by Louis Leygoine, of 
Limoges, France, geologist. '' Improvements in Apparatus 
for Obtaining Motive Power, based upon the Hydrostatic 

This invention is based upon the pressure which liquids 
exercise according to their density, and the dispositions 
which are given to them. The effects which a small quantity 
of liquid will produce when contained in a vertical tube, the 
lower end of which rests in a basin or reservoir scarcely 
more than an inch in height, but of a surface 10,000 times 
greater than that of the small tube, are very extraordinary. 
Suppose, for example, that the small tube is an inch square, 
and that the basin has 10,000 square inches of surface at its 
base, if the basin be filled with mercury through the top of 
the tube, and the operation continued until the mercury is 
8 feet high within the tube (calculating from the bottom of 
the basin), the bottom of the basin will support a pressure of 
not less than 26 tons weight, although to arrive at this 
result but from twenty to twenty-five quarts of mercury have 
been expended. 

To employ this natural agent as a motive power is the 
object of this invention, and it has been found necessary to 
construct an apparatus, which, arranged to engender enor- 
mous pressure, must also possess within itself the means of 
destroying this pressure, and reproducing it without manual 
assistance. The apparatus consists of an oblong square case 
of about 4 yards in length and 4 feet 3 inches in depth and 
width, ^d within this case are contained the parts which, 


250 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

by their arrangement, and the aid of a liquid of any de- 
scription, engender a force proportioned to the dimensions of 
the apparatus and the density of the liquid. These parts 
consist, firstly, in two hollow pistons, each haying about 
1 square yard of surface and a height of about 6 inches; 
each of these pistons is provided in the interior with a small 
apparatus acting at given moments bs valves, and preventing 
in turn (by the faculty which they possess of sliding up and 
down) and intercepting the communication between the 
mercury in the tubes hereinafter mentioned with that con- 
tained in the pistons, by openings in the sides of two pistons 
in juxtaposition to those already mentioned. The above- 
mentioned tubes are solidly fixed to the pistons. To set the 
apparatus in motion, the two pistons and the above-men- 
tioned tubes should be filled to the top with mercury, when 
it will be seen that the mercury in the leffc tube is in com- 
munication with the mercury in the piston, and that then 
this latter must support a pressure proportioned to the 
surface of the interior void, which is about 1 square yard, 
and of the height of the mercury in the tube, which makes 
about 3 yards of vertical height (calculating from the centre 
of the said tube), and finally to tne density of the mercury, 
which will give, according to calculation, a pressure upon 
the piston of not less than 81,000 lbs. By this statement . 
it will be understood that the piston must be pushed from 
right to left until it meets a cross-piece, but two small tubes 
placed at the end of the rods connected with the lozenge- 
shaped valves before mentioned meet the cross-piece sooner 
than the piston, and then by the faculty which they possess 
of sliding between the sides of the piston they will be pushed 
from top to bottom, and by their movement will force the 
valve to mount to the upper part of the piston, which will 
have the result of destroying this enormous pressure by 
intercepting the communication between the mercury in the 
tube and that in the piston ; but at the moment this pressure 
is destroyed in the left piston it will be established in the 
right ; thus two cross-pieces unite the two pistons, and as 
the left piston arrives at one cross-piece the two heads of the 
rods of tiie right-hand apparatus open a communication with 
the mercury by lowering the valve, and the piston on the 
right is submitted to the same pressure as was previously 


exercised upon the left, and effects the same results, that is 
to say, that the right-hand piston will descend on to one 
cross-piece while the left piston will go to the other, and 
vice versa, as long as may be required. 

I860.— Geoegb Chowbn [No. 2838], of Lew Down, Ore- 
diton, Devon. " Improvements in Obtaining Motive Power 
by Hydraulic Means." 

The object is to obtain motive power by the agency of 
water in places remote from a large running stream or river, 
by making the water-wheel pump or plunge u^ from a 
reservoir, previously filled with water on the principle of the 
common pump, a sufficient supply of water to keep itself in 
continual motion, and by economizing the water which feeds 
the ' water-wheel,' using it again and again in the manner 
hereafter described, so as to make comparatively a few cubic 
feet of water to do the work of a large river. 

The water-wheel or hydraulic engine will be placed in a 
wheel pit, so constructed that its bottom shall slope at an 
angle of 30 degrees towards the opposite end of the pit to 
that at which the water is discharged from the wheel. The 
wheel pit will also expand from its centre to this point, that 
it may form a ' reservoir ' to contain the water which feeds 
the * hydraulic engine.' In this reservoir will be fixed two 
columns of pumps or more, if required, whose respective 
diameters and lengths, will be in proportion to the magnitude 
of the * water-wheel.' When the wheel is less than 30 feet 
in diameter, the * working barrel ' will in every case be placed 
at the top of the column of pumps, the first piece. Where 
the water-wheel is of greater magnitude the 'working barrel ' 
will invariably be placed at an elevation of 25 feet at least 
above the surface of the water in the reservoir of the wheel 
pit (save where the water is plunged to the surface, when the 
working barrel may either be fixed at the top or at a lower 
part of the lift of pumps). The ' bucket rod ' of each ' lift ' 
of pumps in the ' wheel pit ' will be connected to the end of 
a ' bob ' or 'rocking beam,' which will be fixed on a pedestal ; 
a rocking beam will be placed on each side of the ' wheel ' 
at an elevation of 6 feet above the top of the column of 
pumps; to the other end of the rocking beam will be 
attached a ' sweep rod,' connected to a craiJc: of the ' water- 


wheeV which will impart motion to the *bncket' in the 
colmmi of pumps, and throw up from the reservoir a sup- 
ply of water sufficiently copious to keep itself in constant 

The water on being pumped to the surface will be con- 
veyed in a * launder ' to a reservoir at the surface, which will 
always be kept filled with water, whence it will be conveyed 
to the hydraulic engine ' or ' water-wheel, descend into the 
wheel pit, will be an opening communicating with a day 
level to carry off surplus water. In order that the water in 
the 'wheel pit' maybe kept at a uniform height a ^feed 
pipe ' connected with the * reservoir ' at the surface will be 
inserted into the ' wheel pit,' the end of the said feed pipe to 
be furnished with a ' stop cock,' which will be opened and 
shut by a self-acting hollow metallic ' ball ' attached thereto, 
and which will float on the surface of the water in the ' wheel 
pit.' On setting the ' hydraulic engine' or 'water-wheel ' at 
work, a stream of water will be allowed to issue from the 
* reservoir ' at the surface to flow over the * water-wheel ' by 
the elevation of a 'hatch' connected with the reservoir. 
The supply of water to be pumped up from the ' wheel pit * 
will be regulated by the number of gallons per minute 
required to feed the ' wheel,' consequently one or more ' lifts 
of pumps ' can be in use, as required. 

The ' water-wheel ' with its several connections and fix- 
tures constitute the hydraulic engine of my invention. 

N.B. — The column of pumps in the reservoir of the wheel 
pit will be double columns, that is, each set of pumps will 
be formed of two columns communicating with each other at 
the lower end. 

I860.— Sir John Teotter Bethunb [No. 2928], of Paris, 
baronet " Improvements in the Production of Motive Power 
by Application of the Dead Weight of Liquids, and in the 
Apparatus connected therewith." 

These improvements consist in applying to the production 
of motive power the dead weight of liquids contained in 
recipients of any desired form suspended at each extremity 
of a balance beam, or otherwise equipoised, and acting by 
direct pressure on driving pistons in the manner hereafter 


To each extremity of a balance beam mounted on a strong 
pedestal I suspend a metallic recipient, the capacity of which 
varies according to the force to be produced. In the bottom 
of each recipient is pierced a circular opening, and over this 
opening is adapted the upper end of a metallic cylinder, the 
lower extremity of which is fitted with a piston or plunger 
provided each with an ordinary circular slide valve. These 
pistons work each in a pump body, in the bottom of which 
is fitted an escape pipe provided with eduction valves and 
passing to a driving wheel mounted apart on cast pHlars. 
This wheel is surrounded by a metallic circle enclosing the 
pallets, and communicates with a return pipe,^by which the 
liquid expended in the working of the machme is thrown 
back to a fixed reservoir, from which it is distributed to the 
suspended recipients. 

The apparatus thus arranged and charged with liquid 
(water, for instance, or even mercury), one piston being at 
the top of its pump body with its slide valve closed, and the 
second at the bottom of the other pump with its valve open. 
On opening the communication with the escape pipes the 
raised piston descends by the weight of its superposed 
recipient forcing the liquid below into the diiving wheel, 
while the recipient and piston at the opposite side rise 
freely; the down stroke completed, the slide valve opens. 
The opposite piston, whose valve has just closed on the com- 
pletion of the up stroke, then commences its downward 
course, and forces in its turn the contents of its pump to 
pass by the corresponding branch of the escape pipe into the 
driving wheel. The alternate movements thus commenced 
keep up as long as the communication between the pump 
cylinders and the escapement is left open, and develope in 
the driving wheel a given amount of power, part of which is 
absorbed in throwing the expended liquid back to the dis- 
tributing reservoir while the surplus may be employed as 
positive force. 

It is obvious that the same result may be obtained by 
many modifications of the above arrangement which is here 
given, as the simplest practical application of the principle 
of the invention. 

1861. — Maeoelin FsANgois Cavalbrie [No. 134], of Paris, 


mechanician. " Improved Apparatus for Obtaining Motive 
Power by Centrifugal Force." 

Belating to improved apparatus for developing and utiliz- 
ing the motive power derived from centrifugal force. This 
apparatus consists of a balance lever supported on any suit- 
able frame ; this lever is formed of twin plates, united at 
the centre by a hollow cylinder, in which is placed the 
rotating axis of the balance lever. At the two extremities 
of the lever between the twin plates are pivoted small 
shafts, carrying at their centre a lever bent at right angles, 
the extremity of which is weighted in proportion to the 
amount of motive power to be developed ; one extremity of 
each of these small shafts is terminated by a crank, as also 
the axis of rotation of the balance lever, and these three 
cranks are attached to a common connecting rod so as to 
render their motion dependent one on the other. The crank 
on the axis of the balance lever carries a second connecting 
rod, which is connected to a crank on the shaft of a fly- 
wheel, which crank is governed by another rod connecting 
the one end of the balance lever by imparting motion to the 
fly-wheel; flrst, one of the connecting rods will impart a 
movement of rotation to the cranks of the balance lever and 
to the weights attached to the ends of said lever ; secondly, 
the second connecting rod, on the other hand, will impart an 
alternating movement of rotation to the balance lever, which 
combined action produces the motive power desired. 

1863. — Maroblin PRANgois Doroth^ Cavalebie [No. 
2618], of Kue de la Fidelite, Paris, mechanical engineer. 
" Certain Improvements in Obtaining Centrifugal Motive 

My invention consists in the construction of an apparatus 
in which two iron balls or discs are attached to the two arms 
of a lever. These arms are fii-mly keyed to an axis rotating 
in two moveable plumber blocks or bearings sliding in the 
direction of the length of the framing. To the crank of the 
axis a connecting rod is jointed, being itself attached to a 
pivot composed of two parts bolted to the framing. A 
forked connecting rod is attached to each side of the crank 
of an axis, on which is set a fly-wheel. This axis turns in 
bearings fixed on the said framing. 


To work the apparatus motion is given to the fly-wheel by 
any convenient power. The movement of the fly-wheel 
causes the intermittent motion of the two moveable plumber 
blocks carrying the axis of the two pendulum balls or discs 
which receive the circular motion from the two plumber 
blocks and the connecting rod jointed to the axis of the 
crank. The quick and circular motion of the discs produces 
a force of traction on the plumber blocks according to the 
ratio of the increased velocity of the discs, and this force 
being constantly added to the rotative motion of/ the fly- 
wheel the initiating power is suppressed and the machine 
works from its own centrifugal momentum. 

[Except for the concluding words of this vague specification, 

we should have been doubtful in respect to its real character.] 

1861. — Joseph George Brown [No. 1105], of Croxton, 
Leicester, miller. "Improvements in Obtaining Motive 

I employ a wheel of any suitable diameter, having its 
periphery provided with a number of cells or buckets, the 
axle of the wheel lying horizontally in suitable bearings, and 
carrying a pulley, round which a belt is passed, which also 
passes round a pulley on an axle lying horizontally above the 
wheel ; both axles are provided with a pulley, round which a 
belt or chain is passed carrying buckets or elevators, which 
are so arranged that the outer lips of the buckets or elevators 
pass close to the bottom of a trough lying under the lowest 
axle, and as the elevators pass through the trough they scoop 
up a quantity of shot, which they carry to the top of the 
highest axle and shoot it into a trough which is so placed 
that the shot rolls from the trough into the buckets or cells 
of the wheel at the centre of its circumference, by which 
means the wheel is caused to revolve. There is a slide in 
the trough, by means of which the quantity of shot delivered 
on to the wheel is regulated. When I raise the elevators by 
a band or belt which is liable to stretch, I provide the 
bearings of the lowest axle with a contrivance by which I 
may lower it, thus keeping the band or belt sufficiently rigid 
to ensure the elevators being always raised. In lieu of shot 
I sometimes use sand or water for the elevators to raise up 


and to conduct on to the periphery of the wheel in the 
manner above mentioned. I may also sometimes use two or 
more belt or chains carrying elevators or buckets as above. 

1861. — George Hates [No. 1112], of Elton, Huntingdon, 
millwright. "Improved Apparatus for Applying Motive 

This invention relates to an intermediate motion (to be 
applied between the motive power and the machine or 
apparatus to be moved or worked), wherein the static pressure 
of a weight or weights applied to an axle or spindle is caused 
constantly to preponderate upon one and the same side of 
another axle, which is in gear by means of spur wheels with 
the axle or spindle to be turned, and has thus a constant 
tendency to assist the said last-named axle or shaft to turn 
in the direction required, whereby an additional power, in 
proportion to the weight used, is gained. 

For example : — Upon the axle to which the motive power 
is applied in the first instance, and which revolves in fixed 
bearings, is keyed a spur pinion (say, about six inches 
diameter) in gear with a large spur wheel (say, six feet in 
diameter), keyed upon the axle, from which the motive power 
is to be transmitted to the machine, which is also carried on 
fixed pedestals. Upon the first-named axle are also keyed a 
pair of spur wheels (say, one foot in diameter), driving a 
similar pair of wheels (say, two feet in diameter), keyed upon 
an axle, which is not supported in pedestals, but rests with 
its ends on an inclined plane at each side. These wheels are 
weighted at the rims like fly-wheels, or a solid cylindrical 
weight is keyed on the axle between them. These wheels 
are in gear with a pair of wheels of the same diameter 
mounted on another axle or spindle, the ends of which also 
rest on the inclined planes, but which is not weighted. 
Upon this latter axle are also keyed two small spur pinions 
(say, four inches and a half in diameter), which rest upon and 
gear with a pair of spur wheels (say, two feet in diameter), 
keyed upon the shaft, from which the motive-power is to be 
transmitted. It will, therefore, be seen that the first-named 
axle is connected to the latter by a double train of spur 
gearing, the diameters of the various wheels being so propor- 
tioned as to transmit the motion at the requisite speed. 



The tendency whict the weighted axle above named hae to 
mn down the inclined plane, being connteracted by the spur 
gearing wbich Bapports the Bame, acts directly on the teeth 
of the wheels, always pressing on one side of the centre and 
assisting them to torn in the some direction, thereby increasing 
the effect of the original power applied in proportion to the 
weight employed. 

In the annexed Figure, a, a, are the aide frames of the 
machine, connected together by tie roda b,b; e, e, is the shaft 

or axle, to which the power is applied by means of the winch 
handle d, d, or otherwise ; and e, e, is the shaft &om which the 
power is transmitted to the machine, to be driven by means 
of a strap passing round the ptdley/,/. Upon the shaft e, e, 
are keyed two spar pinions g, g (one at each inside the 
framing), in gear with two spur wheels h, A, keyed on an axle 
i, i. The wheels ft. A, are connected by intermediate wheels 
3,3, to two similar wheels h, k, on on axle I, I, which (as well 
BB the shafts e, e, and i, t, and the axles of the wheels 3,3} 


revolves in fixed bearings attached to the frame. The spnr 
wheels h, h, are in gear with small spur pinions m, m, keyed 
upon the axle c, c, or first-motion shaft. The pinions w, f», 
are kept in gear with the wheels Je, h, by two links n, n, the 
respective ends of which embrace the shafts c, c, and Z, Z. The 
shaft c, c, is supported by means of the spur wheels o, o, 
resting upon and gearing with similar wheels p,p, keyed 
upon an axle q, q. This axle q, q, has no bearings or support 
whatever, excepting what is afforded by the pinions r, r, 
bearing upon and gearing with the wheels Ji, h, keyed upon 
the shaft i, i. The axle c, c, may be weighted in any suitable 
manner, the following arrangement being a convenient one : — 
About the centre of the axle is keyed a disc 8, 8, and on each 
side of this are placed other discs t, t, these latter being cast 
in two pieces. 

Prom the above description it will be evident that the 
whole weight of the shafts c, c, and q, q, and their appendages 
rests upon the circumference of the wheels h, h, some distance 
outside a vertical line drawn through the centre of the shaft 
i, *, and that the tendency thereof would be to cause the 
pinions r,r, to roll over the surfaces of the wheels A, A, 
allowing the shafts q, q, and c, c, to fall ; but in order to do 
this, the said pinions must revolve quicker than the circum- 
ference of the wheels h, h, travels, which they cannot do in 
consequence of their being connected to the wheels h, h, in the 
other direction by the train of gearing, g, j, ky m, o, and p. 

Hence it is that the static pressure of the weight acts 
upon the wheels h, h, assisting them to turn in the direction 
of the arrow, and imparts an increased power thereto in pro- 
portion to the weight applied to the axle c, c. And for the 
purpose of facilitating the removal of the machine from place 
to place, it may be mounted upon wheels or rollers. 

I claim the so arranging a machine or apparatus for 
applying motive power, that the static pressure of a weight 
applied to a revolving axle is caused constantly to preponde- 
rate upon one and the same side of the centre of another 
revolving axle, the two being geared together, and also 
independently geared to the axle or spindle to be turned, so 
that the said weight has a constant tendency to assist the 
latter to turn in the direction required, whereby an additional 
power (in proportion to the weight used) is gained. * 


1861. — John Doughty [No. 1647], Drury Lane, London. 
" An improved Apparatus for Obtaining and Applying Mo- 
tive Power." 

This invention relates to obtaining a mechanical power by 
more simple and efficient means than has hitherto been 

I propose employing a bed plate having standards erected 
thereon to carry a driving shaft, upon which shaft is secured 
the motive-power wheel. This wheel is divided into sections 
by channels or grooves, in which are metal slides actuated 
by toothed wheels and screws, and is provided with two 
semicircles near its centre, one having teeth around its 
periphery, the other having teeth within, so that when each 
slide leaves its vertical position it commences to project 
from the edge of the wheel, when by its own weight it falls 
into a horizontal position, and the weight of the next slide 
carrying it past, it then commences to return by the means 
before stated, until it again takes a vertical position, by 
which time it is quite returned to its place within the 
periphery of the wheel, neither end projecting, and so on 
with each succeeding slide, thus imparting a continuous 
motion to the shaft. 

1861.— EoBEBT Benton [No. 1919], of Great CoUege Street, 
Westminster, civil engineer. " Lnprovements in Machinery 
or Apparatus for Obtaining Eotary Motion by the use of the 
Gravitating Power of Solid or Fluid Matter." 

This invention relates : First, to improved motive power 
machinery or apparatus, designed for obtaining rotary motion 
by the use of the gravitating power either of solid or fluid 
matters, and consists in the use of two sets of balance bars, 
which I call * major ' and ' minor bars ;' the * major bars ' are 
formed with cranks at each end thereof, and have a moveable 
weight within or upon each crank, and each weight being at 
least double that which is attached to one end of the ' minor 
bars.' The whole of the apparatus is so arranged as to be 
in a perpetual state of equilibrium (except the weights 
attached to the end of the 'minor bars*), and which said 
minor weights will be perpetually suspended on the descend- 
ing side of the orbe or axis to be kept in motion. 

Second, to dividing the orbe or axis into sections mounted 

s 2 


on separate standards with * minor driving wheels,' whereby 
the power of each section or standard is communicated by 
chains or other convenient means to the main driving shaft, 
on which one or more driving wheels may be placed. I also 
employ spherical or circular guides for the purpose of main* 
taining the major bars in a vertical position, and thereby 
preserved in a perpetual state of equilibrium; and place 
ratchets fixed on the face of the said guides, whereby the 
major bars are prevented from rebounding when they change 
their positions. Finger guides are employed whereby the 
opening of certain latches and the action of the aforesaid 
major bars are secured, and rendered simultaneous by one 
and the same movement. 

Fig. 1, an end view of machinery arranged according to 
my invention, and Fig. 2, an edge view of one set of balance 
bars carried by suitable standard ; and in carrying out this 
invention it is proposed to employ a series of similar sets of 
such burs and standards arranged in a direct line side by 
side, the power obtained by the rotation of each separate set 
of bars being transmitted to one common axis, from which 
the power can be transferred to the purpose for which power 
is required ; and as each of such sets of bars, combined to- 
gether for the purpose of forming a motive-power engine, 
are of similar construction, a description of the arrangement 
and combination of one set of bars and apparatus connected 
therewith will be sufficient. 

Fig. 1. — A is one of the * major bars ' of a set of cranked 
balance bars supported on and carried by the standard C. 
The bar A is formed with two cranked arms A\ A^, formed 
with inclines at each end, as shown, and to which weights 
a*, a^, are attached, which are capable of rolling or moving 
from one extremity of the arms A^, A^, to the other in order 
to give a gravitating action to such bars from time to time 
as required. Each cranked bar A is capable of revolving on 
a pin or axis a, carried by one arm of the cross-piece D, 
which is fixed upon the main driving axis E, from which the 
motion communicated to it by the revolution of the major 
and minor bars A and B is transmitted by the pulley E*, 
fixed on the axis E to the axis F and pulley F^ by an endless 
chain or band E*, as shown, a*, a\ are trucks or rollers 
carried by the bar A, which, in the revolution and movement 


of tlie bar, come agaiuBt the onter oiromnfeience of t 
discs 0', C, fixed on the standard C, so as to gorem t 

movomentB and position of the bar A, as required. B shows 
ono of the minor bars, which is arranged in combination 
trith and capable of rotating on the same pin or axis a as the 


cranked bar A. During the downward movement of the 
weighted end b of the bar B, it is quite independent of the 
bar A, but as soon as the weight h has arrived at its lowest 
position the bar B becomes locked or temporarily attached 
to the major or cranked bar A (in the manner hereafter 
described), at which time the two bars and other parts are in 
the position shown at Fig. 1. 

It will be seen that when the parts are in this position the 
weight a^ on the upper cranked arm A^, is at the onter 
extremity of its movement, whilst the weight a^, on the 
lower cranked arm A^, is at the inner extremity of its move- 
ment, and by reason of the superior gravitating power of 
the weight a^, the cranked bar A is caused to make half a 
revolution on its axis a, at the same time, owing to its con- 
nection with the bar B, the position of that bar is also 
reversed, so as to bring up and place its weighted end h 
uppermost, at which moment the bar B becomes detached 
from the bar A, and the weight h commences its descent, 
during which time the side of the bar B rests against a pro- 
jection or tumbling catch h^ on the plate h^, which is fixed 
on the pin or axis a, by which arrangement the gravitating 
power of the weight h is communicated to the cross-piece D 
fixed on the main driving axis E; at the same time the 
weights a\ a^, on the cranked arms reverse their positions 
by rolling down the inclines formed on the arms from one 
extremity of each arm to the otner. The cranked bap A, 
after making this half revolution, is prevented from rebound- 
ing or moving backwards by the weighted lever ratchet c, 
moving on a pin or stud c^ fixed on the disc C^ The 
cranked bar A, whilst in a vertical position, descends by the 
revolution of the cross-piece D to its lowest position, being 
guided in its movement to this position by the rollers a* and 
discs C\ as shown by the different positions of the bar B 
in dotted lines, the gravitating weight of the bar A aiding in 
giving motion to the central main driving axis E. 

Whilst the pair of bars A and B have been performing 
their functions on one side of the standard C, the pair of 
bars on the opposite side of the standard have been in exactly 
the reverse positions, and the power communicated to the 
central axis E, and to the cross-piece D on the opposite 
side, has had the effect of raising the pair of bars A and B 


on that side of the standard C to their highest position ready 
to perform the same set of movements as those just pre- 
viously described, by which the first-named bars A and B 
are again raised to their original positions to commence a 
fresh revolution. The bars A and B are locked or retained 
together during their semi-revolution by a tumbling catch c^ 
on the bar B, which falls down out of the way of the move- 
ment of the bar B when the weight b is about to descend by 
its own gravity, as before described, c* is a cranked lever 
moving on a pin fixed on one of the arms of the cross-piece 
D ; the finger or arm c® of this lever in its revolution comes 
in contact with the projecting arm C* of the standard, and by 
the connecting chain or cord c* fixed to the sector part of the 
lever and to the wheel d on the axis a, to give a slight 
impetus or start to the bar A, so as to disengage it from the 
lever ratchet c. 

Any number of standards C, with gravitating bars A and 
B, may be^ arranged side by side in a line according to the 
power which it is desired to accumulate in the axis F, by 
transmitting the same thereto, as before described ; and each 
standard C may be supported on trucks or rollers running 
on a rail or tramway so as readily to be run out for the pur- 
pose of arranging or repairing the parts carried thereby, 
independently of and without interfering with any of the 
other standards or parts composing this motive power 

The cranked balance bar A may be so arranged as to bo 
employed two or more times during each revolution of the 
main axis to raise the weighted ends of the bars B as required 
to their highest position for the purpose of repeating their 
gravitating power, by which arrangement all the minor 
weights h will be on the descending side ; and about four 
revolutions per minute of the bars A and B will be found 
the most advantageous speed to drive the apparatus at. 

The claims are : — 

First, the arrangement and combination of a series of 
cranked balance bars A, with a series of weighted gravitating 
or working bars B, so as to produce a motive power engine 
or apparatus, as herein described. 

Secondly, the arrangement and combination of two or more 
sets of cranked balance and gravitating bars A and B, each 


set of bars and apparatus connected therewith being mounted 
on separate standards or supports independent of each 

And, thirdly, the mode of transmitting the power obtained 
by the gravitation of each separate set of rotating bars A 
and B to one common axis, as herein described. 

1861.— Ephbaim Taylob [No. 2236J, of Blackburn, Lan- 
caster, mechanic. '^ Improvements m Obtaining Motive 
Power by the Combination and Arrangement of Levers and 

I employ a number of weights placed upon a shaft or 
eccentric, and also a wheel, which revolves and changes the 
positions of the weights, the wheel having bowls on which 
the weights slide, so that as the positions of the weights are 
changed, they gain their leverage, and give effect to the 
wheel, and thus obtain the motive power, which can be started 
and stopped and also governed by altering the position of the 
shaft or eccentric. 

1861.— William Dowell [No. 2247], of Rhyl, Flint, and 
James Dowell, of Rhyl, smiths. "A New or Lnproved 
Motive-power Engine." 

Their invention consists essentially of a wheel having an 
even number of spokes or radii, each being diametrically 
opposite to another. Weights carried by the said spokes are 
worked in such a manner that those on one side of the said 
wheel are always at a greater distance from the centre of the 
said wheel than the weights on the other side, and the wheel 
is not in equilibrium. The preponderating side of the wheel 
consequently descends, and each weight, after it has passed, 
from the highest point through a semicircle to the lowest 
point, is drawn in towards the centre while it rises, and is 
forced out again when it arrives again at its highest point. 
One half of the wheel is thus kept in a constant state of 
preponderance, and the said wheel constantly rotates : — 

The motion of the weights is thus effected : — On each 
spoke or radius and near Qie centre of motion is a weight 
capable of a sliding motion on the said spoke. We will call 
this weight the inner weight. A rod prolonged in the 
direction of the spoke beyond the periphery of the wheel, 


carries a second weight, which we will call the outer weight. 
The inner weight and outer weight are connected together in 
the following manner : — On the spoke, and somewhat farther 
from the axis of the wheel than the inner weight is a centre 
on which two crossing levers work, the shorter arms of the said 
levers being towards the inner weight, and connected there- 
with by connecting links and a rod. The longer arms of the 
said levers are also connected by links and a connecting rod, 
with a similar pair of crossing levers turning upon a centre 
on the spoke, and near the periphery of the wheel and to the 
latter levers the rod carrying the outer weight is connected 
by connecting links. The action of the levers described 
somewhat resembles that of the ordinary lazy-tongs levers* 
When the spoke is situated vertically over tiie axle of the 
wheel, the inner weight descends or approaches nearer the 
said axle, and acting through the levers described, forces 
upwards and to its highest point the outer weight connected 
with it. The said outer weight descends with the descending 
side of the wheel, being, during the time of its descent, at its 
maximum distance from the axle of the wheel. When it 
arrives at its lowest point, it is drawn upwards to its TniniTn^ i Tp 
distance from the axle, and in this position is raised on the 
ascending side of the wheel. The drawing upwards of the 
outer weight is effected by the inner weight, which, now that 
it is under the axle, descends or recedes from the axle, and 
acting through the levers raises the outer weight. The 
action described takes place in the weights connected with 
each spoke or radius, and the perpetual preponderance of one 
side of the wheel and the consequent rotation of the said 
wheel is maintained. 

[If we are not very much mistaken, the foregoing descrip- 
tion is illustrated by the demonstrative model given as a 
warning against this fallacy, in the First Series of ' Perpetuum 
Mobile,' page xxxix, and may have led to the present inven- 
tion receiving only provisional protection.] 

1861.— William Evans [No. 2939], of Commercial Road, 
London, master mariner. '' Improvements in Obtaining Mo- 
tive Power by Machinery." 

To a horizontal bar I connect at each end a rod, each of 


which rods is connected to a crank on a toothed spindle, 
upon the axis of which fly-wheels are flxed. The toothed 
spindles drive toothed wheels, upon the axes of which spindles 
carrying tappets are fixed. Then from the horizontal bar I 
suspend a pendulum or heavy weight, and at each end of the 
course of the pendulum I place a hammer or spring. The 
action is as follows : — I cause the horizontal bar to rock and 
set the pendulum in motion through the connecting rods; 
the crank spindles and fly-wheels are made to revolve, and 
through the toothed wheels the tappet wheels are also made 
to rotate, and the motions are so calculated that upon the 
pendulum reaching the end of its course, flrst in one direc- 
tion and then in the other, the tappets release the hammers 
or springs, which falling or pressing on the pendulum keep 
np its action. The motive power is taken from the fly-whed 
shafts, or from the rocking bar, or from both. 

1862. — William Evans [No. 1552], of Commercial Eoad, 
London, master mariner. " Improvements in Obtaining Mo- 
tive Power by Machinery." 

The intending patentee in the present and his previous 
application of 1861, No. 2939, did not proceed beyond pro- 
visional protection. We have here sorry examples of igno- 
rance of patent laws and mechanical laws. The flrst intended 
patent of 1861 expired on the 22nd March, 1862 ; but was 
recommenced on the 22nd May, No. 1552, word for word as 
on pages 265-6, so that it would have been impossible to flle 
a valid flnal speciflcation. 

We feel persuaded that no respectable patent agent would 
have been a party to the depositing of such a provisional 
speciflcation in the flrst instance ; and much less would he 
have advised a client to adopt the course here pursued. 

1862. — Febdebiok Moobes [No. 74], of Warrington, Lan- 
caster, iron merchant. " An Improved Method of Obtaining 
Motive Power by Means of Water Wheels." 

I arrange two cisterns above a wheel, the said wheel con- 
structed with exterior buckets, or similar contrivances, so 
ahat as the water descends from one of the cisterns, it gives 


motion to the wheel. The two cisterns may be connected by 
any ordinary means, each of them having' a tap or other 
means of outlet, one to give direct motion, and tiie other a 
back motion when necessary. The said cisterns to be filled 
in the first instance, either by hand or power. I fix on the 
main shaft of the said water wheel a toothed wheel to work 
or give motion to two other toothed wheels, each of which 
works a pump by means of connecting levers, the said pumps 
raising or lifting the water which falls from the wheel into 
the aforesaid cisterns, thus using the same water continuously 
to give motion to the wheel, which motion may be conveyed to 
any convenient shaft, crank, or wheel, acting as the principal 
prime mover. 

1862. — William Edwabd Gedgb [No. 93], London; a com- 
munication from HuGUS Sabbazin, of Fans. " Improved Means 
or Apparatus for Gaining or Acquiring Motive Power." 

This apparatus consists of a trough partially filled with 
water. In this trough is made to rotate (by means of cog 
wheels and pinions, pullies, or any suitable gearing) a wooden 
or metal drum or cylinder, supported on a horizontal shaft, 
and having on its outer surface a number of sacks or pockets 
(of leather, caoutchouc, or some woven or other suitable 
fabric), into each of which enters a couple of tubes, the other 
ends of which are socketed on the drum, and provided with a 
small toothed wheel, the rotation of which, opens or shuts a 
tap placed in the tube, accordingly as the motion sets in one 
direction or the other. As the drum rotates it works a pair 
of bellows, injecting into each pocket as it passes beneath the 
water suf&cient air to fill and swell it out, giving it a ten- 
dency to rise to the surface of the liquid, where the air is 
permitted to escape, and the pocket collapses, to be again in- 
flated, when by the continued rotation of the drum it again 
passes beneath the water. It will be readily understood that 
the pockets being filled with air, when under water, naturally 
endeavour to rise to the surface of the liquid, and thus cause 
the drum to continue its rotation at more or less speed accord- 
ing to the number and capacity of the pockets. 

1862. — Chablbs William Heoeethobn [No. 608], of Saint 
Ann's Eoad, Brixton, Suixey. <' Improvements in Obtaining 

268 PEBPETUUH mobile; 

and Applying Motive Power by Means of a Wheel contaki- 
ing Mercury." 

I make a wheel having, say, twelve hollow square spokes, 
with openings running their entire length either at the top 
only or at both the top and bottom. In the spokes are tubes 
containing a quantity of mercury, and running on twelve 
rollers. When the wheel is in motion, some of the tubes, 
that is to say, those on the descending side, will project 
beyond the periphery of the wheel, and the mercury will 
have run to the outer end of the tube, while on the ascending 
side the tubes will be brought close to the centre of the wheel 
(the mercury at the same time approaching the inner end of 
the tube) by means of one or two inclined planes with or 
without the use of a cam, which carry the said tubes up, there 
being but one inclined plane required where there are open- 
ings at the top and bottom of tiie spoke, when the inclined 
plane is arranged between the openings, in which case an 
extra friction wheel will be required ; if there is an opening 
only on the upper side of the spokes, the tube has attached 
to it a metal rod projecting on both sides, and having wheels 
attached to it which run on two inclined planes arranged on 
either side of the wheel. Iron bars may be substituted for 
the spokes, and as many wheels as desired may be placed on 
one shafb. 

1862. — Chaelbs William Heokethobn [No. 1720]. " Im- 
proved Apparatus for Obtaining and Applying Motive rower." 

This invention consists of improved apparatus by means of 
which motive power may be obtained and applied to various 
useful purposes. I propose to attach to a shaft a series of 
hollow spokes, to the closed ends of each of which a bellows 
is fixed, the upper or moveable plate or cover of the bellows 
being weighted with metal. The bellows communicate with 
the hollow spokes by suitable openings at the places of at- 
tachment, and the hollow spokes communicate with each 
other by means of an opening through the shaft. The appa- 
ratus is to be placed in a reservoir of water, the shaft being 
set in bearings some distance below the surface of the water, 
when it will be found that the weights on the bellows will 
force down and close the covers of those in a vertical posi- 
tion, and will open or separate those bellows on the opposite 


spokes, which would then be in a contrary or inverted posi- 
tion, the effect of which would be that the closed bellows 
would expel the air through the spokes into the opposite bel- 
lows, thus bausing the series of inflated bellows on one side 
of the shaft to rise in the water, while those on the opposite 
side being shut would sink, when the spokes of the ascend- 
ing bellows have just passed their highest point, and are in 
the act of descending, their weights in turn being uppermost, 
press down the bellows, which sink in the water, aiding those 
on the opposite side to ascend. By these means a powerful 
rotary motion is communicated to the shaft, and by placing 
suitable gearing thereon, the power thus obtained may be 
applied to machinery or other useful purposes. 

1862. — RoBEBT Mabtin Robbbts [No. 776], of Kensington, 
London, mining engineer. "Improvements m Obtaining and 
Applying Motive Power." 

This invention consists in using for obtaining and apply- 
ing motive power or force a weighted wheel, the weight being 
placed at a given point of the circumference thereof (or only a 
projecting lever or radius weighted at its end) such wheel (or 
lever or radius) having affixed to the axis or shaft thereof and 
turning therewith an eccentric so set on the aforesaid axis or 
shaft that the rim of such eccentric shall always be nearest to 
the weight on the wheel (or lever or radius aforesaid). This 
eccentric to be arranged so as to continuously work into an 
eccentric opposite thereto, fixed in the like manner as afore- 
said on the axis of another and similar weighted wheel (or 
lever or radius). The two wheels and eccentrics so arranged 
as aforesaid cause the weights to traverse a portion of the 
circle (the one weight pulling opposite to the other), and in 
order to traverse the other part of the circle two, four, or 
more precisely similar weighted wheels (or levers or radii) 
and eccentrics working in conjunction as aforesaid are con- 
nected (by wheel gearing for instance) with the aforesaid 
arrangement of weighted wheels or levers or radii and eccen- 
trics. The weights on the wheels are to be so placed and the 
eccentrics so arranged with regard to each other that whilst 
(upon the first impetus being given by moving one of the 
wheels) one weight will carry on rotation through one arc of 
the circle, another weight shall carry on through another 


PEBPETUUM mobile; 

until the entire circle of rotation shall be effected, when 
another circle of rotation will begin, and so on. From one 
of the axles power may be applied to any purpose required. 
Instead of weights applied to the circamferefice of the 
weighted wheel, electric or magnetic force might be applied 
to the wheel. 

1865. — Robert Mabtik Robebts [No. 3046], London, 
mining engineer. " Improvements in Machinery for De- 
riving Motive Power from the Application of the Force of 
Gravitation alone, without the Aid of Steam, Water, Wind, 
Compressed Air, or any other similar Means." 

I attach a sliding bar or beam weighted at the extremities 
to the diameter of a disc or wheel in such a way that it slides 
to a certain distance either towards or from the centre of the 
wheel or disc in line with the diameter of the part of the 
wheel to which it is attached. I attach to« the sliding bar 
certain friction rollers, which work on a cam or inclined 
plane of suitable shape, by which means the bar is raised so 
that its centre of gravity is brought above the centre of the 
wheel and causes the upper part of the wheel to descend, the 
opposite end of the bar or beam then acts on the wheel in the 
same manner and causes it to complete its revolution. In 
order to maintain the motion of the wheel, and to overcome 
the point of resistance of the wheel and bar, I use one or 

more similar wheels and 
bars connected with the 
first wheel and bar by ec- 
centric or other suitable 

The accompanying 
drawing and description 
show lie machinery by 
which the above-men- 
tioned motive power is 

1862. — Chables Augustb Mathibu Duband [No. 1582], 
of Peujard, District of St. Andr^ de Cubzac, Departement of 
the Gironde, France. " A new kind of Water Mill." 

My improved system of water-mill consists, firstly, of a 
large basin or reservoir, fed from a source which, however 


Blight, will suffice always to maintain the same level of 
water the bottom of this basin will be constructed of sand, 
stone, ^r rough masonry, and covered with slabs of stone, in 
order to preserve the water if the supply be limited. 

Secondly, of two pumps, which serve to raise water from 
the large basin to another fixed above it, these pumps being 
of sufficient force to furnish together the quantity of water 
necessary to turn two stones. 

Thirdly, of a second basin or reservoir intended to receive 
the water raised by the pumps, the water fsdling from thence 
by a conduit upon a large wheel placed beneath. 

Fourthly, of this large wheel, which receives motion by 
the water falling upon it from the upper basin, communicates 
it by a horizontal shaft to the millstones which are on each 
side, and at the same time to two perpendicular shafts which 
work the pumps, so that the entire system is animated by a 
regular and constant movement ; the quantity of water falling 
on the wheel being always the same, and the pumps re-raising 
incessantly the water necessary to cause the millstones to 
turn. It is needless to say the water from the upper reser- 
voir after giving motion to wheel falls into the lower basin, 
as it is beneath it. 

This system, which may be used to give power in any fac- 
tory where the smallest water source is available, also frees 
these establishments from all danger of inundation, and no 
rest or respite is ever necessitated from either too great or 
too small a supply of water. 

[We have here a singular instance of the reproduction of an 
antiquated fallacy, offering a fair example of that constant re- 
trograde progress of modem inventors of seK-acting machinery 
which we have frequently had occasion to remark upon.] 

1862. — Keginald Coubtenat [No. 2403], Bishop of Kings- 
ton, Jamaica, of Craigton, Kingston, Jamaica. ^'Improve- 
ments in Obtaining Motive Power." 

This invention has for its object improvements in obtain- 
ing motive power, and consists in the producing of motion by 
changing (increasing or diminishing) the specific gravity of 
an elastic fluid, the change being effected by revolving weights. 

As the best arrangement, I propose that an even number 
of weights, equal to one another, i^ould be attached at equal 

272 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

distances from eacli other to the circiQnfereiice of a vertical 
wheel, not immediately, but by being placed at the ends of 
levers, of which the other extremities are jointed to the cir- 
cmnference so as to play freely, as on hinges. The play on 
the hinges, however, is restricted by means of springs which 
keep the levers more or less nearly in the direction of radii 
from the centre of the wheel. If put in motion by any 
external force, the wheel would revolve more or less uni- 
formly, but with no more tendency to stop than if the weight 
had been immoveably attached to the circumference, and the 
springs will be alternately expanded and contracted. As the 
springs, which are alternately expanded and contracted by 
the motion of the wheels, I employ vessels containing air or 
other elastic fluid ; the specific gravity of the elastic fluid (say 
atmospheric air) will thus be sJtemately increased and dimi- 
nished by the action of the weights or by the removal of that 
action and its operation in an opposite direction. The con- 
densation will be all on one side of the wheel, which there- 
fore will exceed the other side in specific gravity ; and as the 
apparatus when in use is immersed in a fluid (it may be air), 
this, the heavy side, will descend, whilst the light side will 
rise, thus creating the motive power I propose to produce.' 

1862.— Eugene Hippolytb Dubu [No. 3079], of Poitiers, 
France, sculptor. " An Improved Motive-power Engine." 

This invention consists in employing mercury and water 
as the motive power, either separately or in combination, in a 
machine of the following construction, for example, to a suit- 
able framing, either mounted on wheels or to be fixed to the 
ground, I connect the following parts, a reservoir with com- 
partments containing the liquid motive power fixed to the 
top of the framing ; to the bottom of this reservoir two tubes 
are fixed, the lower ends whereof are respectively fixed upon 
two water-tight vessels, furnished each with a revolving 
wheel, having float-boards or plates about and across its 
periphery, somewhat similar to a water-wheel ; each of the 
aforesaid vessels has a pipe connected to the bottom thereof, 
and inclining downwards nearly to the bottom of the framing 
of the machine. Other smaller wheels with plates about and 
across their peripheries are placed so as to revolve in the 
inclined pipes aforesaid for the purpose hereafter stated. To 


these inclined pipes other pipes are connected, and pass 
upwards nearly to the top of the framing of the machine by 
which they are supported ; other pipes are also connected 
with the last-mentioned pipes, each of which, as also the first- 
mentioned tubes, is fitted with a pump-bucket worked by 
suitable rods and levers. The operations of this improved 
engine are as follows : — The descent of the water from the 
reservoir aforesaid imparts rotary motion to the large water- 
wheels, said motion being transmitted by endless straps or 
bands to the machinery to be moved thereby ; the water in 
its passage in like manner imparts rotary motion to the 
smaller water-wheels, and such motion is transmitted by the 
rods and levers before mentioned to the several pump- 
buckets, some of which force the water, and others lift the 
water again into the reservoir, thus maintaining constant cir- 
culation of the water. In using mercury I adapt a separate 
reservoir alongside of the water-reservoir, and place mercury 
therein, and I connect this reservoir of mercury with the 
vessels containing the large water-wheels by means of pipes, 
one to each vessel, placed over tlie centre of each wheel, and 
furnished with a cock for admitting and shutting off the 
mercury as desired, and using it either by itself as a motive- 
power agent or in combination with the water as above 

1862. — Chablbs Anton Obth [No. 3137], De Beauvoir 
Square, London, saddler. '' Improvements in Apparatus for 
Obtaining and Applying Motive Power." 

This invention relates to improved machinery constructed 
in the following manner : — Two sets of rollers or wheels are 
arranged at one side of the machine, each set is composed of 
three rollers or wheels arranged one over another and kept 
connected by teeth or eogs ; the smooth surface of each roller 
is also in contact with the one next over it. I distinguish 
the three rollers of each set as A, B, C, calling the lowest 
A, the next over it B, and the uppermost C. The rollers A, 
that is the lowest of each set, are supported on a rack or 
toothed base-plate. On the rollers C is another rack or toothed 
plate on which work two other rollers (one over each of the 
sets A, B, C), and on these rests a beam or bar, which I call 
a pressure beam, and to which pressure may be applied by a 


screw or otherwise. Within each of the lowermost rollers 10 
a smaUer roller on which rests a platform or carriage which 
supports a contrivance, called by me the imion lever, which 
is placed between the two sets of rollers, and consists of 
two portions, an upper and a lower, held together by guide 
pieces ; each portion is composed of two arms crossing and 
jointed to each other near one end, and jointed at that end to 
links or other arms, the arms or limbs of the union lever 
approach or recede from each other somewhat in the manner 
of what is called the lazy-tongs. To the links are attached 
arms or bars which I call balance pieces. To the rollers B 
are attached horizontal bars or rods which are connected to 
and actuate the union lever, and to these are also connected 
slide pieces. Cross rods are carried from the end of each 
balance piece to the centre of the other, where they are con- 
nected to the links of the union lever. 

The whole of the foregoing arrangement of apparatus is 
repeated at the opposite side of the machine, and angle 
cranks or angle- cranked shafts are carried from the balance 
pieces on each side of the machine to the balance pieces 
at the opposite side of the machine. On the cranked shafts 
are eccentrics which work a compound lever or lazy-tongs 
contrivance situated between the two arrangements of appa- 
ratus ; levers are carried from the cranks to the roller C 
to regulate the level. On pressure being applied to the 
pressure beam, such pressure will be transmitted downward 
through the topmost rollers and plate on which they rest to 
the rollers A, B, C, thereby working those rollers to and fro 
or inward and outward in alternate directions, by which 
a true level is maintained ; the rollers B actuate the union 
lever which drives the crank shafts, and these transmit 
motion to the compound lever from which motion can be 
communicated as desired. 

In another arrangement the union lever may be applied 
apart from the rollers and their appurtenances, but combined 
with the balance pieces and cross rods in the manner herein- 
after described, and on being actuated by a handle or other 
driving contrivance will transmit its power by means of cranks. 

Fig. 1 is an elevation or front of the machine; there is 
also a like arrangement on the opposite side or back thereof. 

OB, B 

I FOB BKLr-uonni powbb. 


A, B, C, are two sets of rollera having tootlied fianges ; the 
three rollers of each set are in gear, and their smooth snr- 
&cee are also in contact. D, D, are racks oi toothed plates 
on »hioh the rollers A, A, rest ; £ is a rack or toothed plate 

FIG. I. 

resting on the rollers C, C ; F, F, are two rollers sapported hj 
the rack E ; G is a bar or beam which I call the pressure besm, 
and which rests on the rollers F ; H is a screw worked by a 
handle h for commiuiicflting pressure to the beam O ; this screw 
and its frame is fixed to the lever j, by the end t* of the bar t ; 
it; is a steadying bar. I, I, are rollers placed within the rollers 
A,A ; J is a carriage or platform resting on the rollers I, I, and 
supporting the nnion lever E, L, M, N, by means of props 
0, 0, attached to the same. This imion lever consists of four 
rods, limbs, or bars, which are jointed together, and ap- 
proach towards and recede from each other in the manner of 
lazy-tongs. The rods cross each other and are jointed at the 
ends to links P, P ; the rods K, L, are connected to the rods 
M, N, by triangular pktes T', T*. Q,Q, are bars which 
connect the upper and lower links P, P, through conneC' 
tions XJ, whioh I call balance pieces, and by which also these 
bars Q are connected to an^ cr^iks V ; B, B, are hori- 
T 2 

276 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

zontal bars connected by links r and S. The bars B^ B^ aie 
jointed to tbe rollers B, the props 0, and the lever K, L, 
M,N; the props and plates T^ T*, are jointed to the eaz^ 
riage J ; bars O and Q, similar and parallel to those repre- 
sented, are jointed to the lever K, L, M,N, on its opposite 
side. 8^, 8\ are shanks forged on the bars E, and carrying 
at their ends rods <\ ^, which slide one over the other ; the 
end of i^ is jointed to the plate T^ and the end of ^ to the 
plate T^ Y, Y, are angle-cranked shafts which extend across 
or through the machine, and connect the above described 
arrangement of parts to the similar {arrangement on the oppo- 
site side of the machine, that is to say, they connect the 
balance pieces U on the one side or front of the machine with 
the balance pieces U on the opposite side or back thereof not 
shown in the drawing. On these shafts Y are eccentrics W, 
which actuate a large compound lever X ; this lever X is 
similar in construction to the lever K, L, M, N, and is situated 
in the centre of the machine between the front and back 
arrangements. T, % are a series of levers jointed at one end 
to the cranked shafts Y, and at the further end to the rollers 
C, C ; their object is to regulate the level of these rollers. 
Z is the general framework. 

The machine works as follows : — The screw H having 
been connected with the machine by the end i^ of the bar t, 
and pressure applied by such screw on the pressure beam O, 
such pressure will be transmitted downward through the 
rollers F, to the rollers A, B, C, A, B, C, which will be thereby 
worked to and &o or in and out laterally, and the rollers B, B, 
will transmit motion through the bars K, R, to the levers 
£, L, M, N, which will actuate the cranked shafts Y, and thus 
transmit motion through the eccentrics W to the lever X, 
whence the motive power so communicated may be transmitted 
by ordinary connections to any instrument or apparatus to be 
worked by the machine. The machine thus acts as a gene- 
rator of power without the aid of steam, electricity, or other 
maintaining agent other than the pressure applied by a screw 
or other means on the beam G. The union lever K, L, M, N, 
with its links and connections P, Q, U, may be employed 
without the rollers A, B, C (and tiieir appurtenances), and 
worked by a handle or other ordinary means, and the power 


imparted to the said lerer may be transmitted from it for 
motiye pnrposes by means of cranks. 

I claim as my invention : — First, the improved machine, 
hereinbefore described, in so far as regards the general 
arrangement and combination of parts of which the same 
consists. Second, the nnion lever apparatus, hereinbefore 
described, in so far as regards the arrangement and com- 
bination of the parts K, L, M, N, P, P, U, U, and Q, Q, as set 

1863. — JosoELiNB CouBTBNAT [No. 573], of Down Street, 
London; a communication by Eeginald Courtenay, Bishop 
of Kingston, Jamaica. ^' Improvements in Obtaining Motive 

The provisional specification for this invention is already 
given at pages 271-2, and it was repeated, as above, just 
one day within the expiration of six months, only again to 
lapse, and become public property; but witheut the most 
remote chance of becoming at the same time a public benefit, 
except as a warning to all lettered, as well as ignorant, ama- 
teur mechanics. The list of perpetual-motion seekers is not, 
as we see, confined to soldiers, sailors, sadlers, and smiths, 
but finds ardent admirers among a certain class of scholars 
troubled with " a little learning," or only just sufi&cient of it 
to " intoxicate the brain." 

1863.— William Boothbotd [No. 1119], of Halifax, York, 
bobbin manufacturer. " Improvements in stationary Engines 
or Apparatus for Obtaining Motive Power." 

This invention consists in the employment of machinery 
with various self-acting movements for the purpose of obtain* 
ing motive power without the aid of steam, horse, wind, or 
water. A cast-iron or other suitable framework is employed, 
the top of which is provided with four pulleys or wheels for 
carrying a horizontal or main shaft. On this shaft are fixed 
two bosses, each boss having four arms, connected together by 
four plates or cross bars extending from arm to arm on each 
boss. On the shaft is also a spur wheel geared into another 
spur or pinion wheel fixed on a cross or counter shaft. The 


croBB sliaft being provided mth a toothed wheel geared into 
another toothed wheel for the purpose of giving motion to an 
ecoentric tappet, or lever, attached to a carriage for pulling 
and pushing two or more weights on and off the before-named 
plates or cross bars. Another shaft with suitable gearing is 
also employed, one end of which receives motion from the 
toothed wheels on the cross shaft, and the other end by means 
of another pair of toothed wheels gives motion to two rollers* 
The rollers are provided with chains or ropes for lifting the 
weights when pulled off the plates or cross bars into their 

E roper position. These rollers turn in opposite directions 
y means of three bevil wheels, two of the said bevil wheels 
being loose, so that either one or the other may be put into 
gear, as required. Above the framework is fixed a carriage 
and tramway with a sheaf pulley attached for the purpose of 
the chains or ropes to work over, the said carriage being 
moved to and fro by the eccentric tappet or lever. A brake 
wheel is also employed for regulating the speed as may be 
required, which is fixed on the main shaft, and is acted upon 
by a strap or belt made of steel or other suitable matenal, 
one end of which is attached to a governor, and the other end 
made fast to the framework. 

1863.— Edward Patson Mosman [No. 1358J, of Springfield, 
Massachusetts, America, residing at Enfield-Highway, London, 
engineer. "Improvements in Obtaining and Applying Mo- 
tive Power." 

This invention consists in changing circular into rectilinear 
motion, and vice versd, so that centripetal force brings into 
action centrifugal force, or vice versd, and by the system of 
complex and duplex mechanical arrangements the original 
power is maintained, thus producing motive power for practical 
use. There is a frame for supporting the wheels and other 
mechanism, supporting a horizontal shaft which carries a 
tooth wheel, a fly wheel, and a bevil wheel. The bevil wheel 
is situate on one end of the shaft, and gears with a second 
bevil wheel correspondingly toothed, set on its -own axis or 
shaft, and placed at right angles to the axle or shaft; first 
mentioned. The shaft of the second-mentioned bevil wheel 
has quarter toothed cam wheels on either end, which take 


into corresponding teeth of weighted racks, so as to raise the 
same alternately, in order that they may fall, and thus obtain 
the use of centrifugal force or attraction of gravitation as 
falling weights, which rectilinear or upward and downward 
motion is accomplished by circular or rotary motion being 
given to the fly-wheel before mentioned. The weighted racks 
are toothed on opposite sides in order that the sides shall 
take into similar cam wheels to those already described, 
which last-mentioned cam wheels are on a shaft having a 
bevil wheel simQar to those before described, which gears 
with a correspondingly toothed wheel situate at right angles 
set on a shaft which carries a fly-wheel and toothed wheel 
similar to those herein described, and in the same plane. 
The weighted racks overhang and fall upon secondary racks 
toothed upon the faces thereof which take into wheels corre- 
spondingly toothed, situate on a shaft between them, conse- 
quently a downward motion being given to the secondary rack 
on the left, upward motion is conveyed to the secondary rack 
on the right, which on receiving the impetus of the falling 
weight or weighted rack immediately descends and a corre- 
sponding action takes place to that already described. The 
secondary rack being a frame with teeth on its face and inner 
sides, the inner teeth placed on opposite sides but not in the 
same line, so that they may take into two toothed wheels one 
behind the other, and loose on a shaft set at right angles to 
the rack and within the same. Upon upward and downward 
or rectilinear motion being given to the rack the wheels will 
move in opposite directions. The shaft has ratchet wheels 
flxed thereto, one on either side of the loose wheels or pulleys, 
which have pins or palls on their faces, which take into tiie 
ratchet wheels, consequently, rectilinear motion being given 
to the rack, the shaft is driven constantly in the same d^ection. 
The shaft has a wheel gearing with multiplying wheels, 
whereby a multiplied action is given to a fly-wheel to facili- 
tate the accumulation of centrifugal force. A worm is placed 
on the shaft, situate between the fly-wheel and the multiplying 
wheels, which gears with worm wheels attached to shafts 
placed above and below, and at right angles to the wormed 
shaft aforesaid, these shafts carrying toothed wheels at each 
end, gearing into other wheels, which being connected with 


the toothed wheel first mentioned, torn it and the fly and bevil 
wheels constantly in the same direction. The aboye arrange- 
ments are twice repeated. The lower end of the weighted 
racks are provided with adjusting screws which drop upon a 
cushion at the end of an upright or pin, passing through and 
projecting on either side of a pendulum lever, which upright 
is enveloped in a coiled spring on either side of the pendulum, 
which latter is secured at one end to standards, and has an 
adjustable weight to assist in regulating the power, which 
power is increased or diminished by the concussion obtained 
on the meeting of the weighted racks in their downward 
movements with the upward movements of the pendulum. 
The oscillation of the pendulum is maintained in a semicircle 
by means of a toothed wheel gearing with the wheel which 
unites the secondary racks, as hereinbefore described ; such 
toothed wheel also gearing with a wheel set on the upper part 
of the pendulum, of which it forms a part. These arrange- 
ments may admit of the various parts being superseded by 

1863. — William Willcocks Sleigh [No. 1578], of Lon- 
don, doctor of medicine. "A New Method for Obtaining 
Motive Power." 

This invention consists in rendering nugatory one of two 
antagonist forces. An axle or shaft is supported in a frame, 
and to this shaft or axle is fixed one or more arms, and at the 
extremity of each arm or arms is fixed a small chamber with 
a loose lid. This lid is kept from separating from the 
chamber, and yet made to travel with the chamber fda-Or-vis^ 
or parallel to its bottom, by a system of levers acting on a 
ring fixed to the frame, and also with a ring loose on the 
axle, in connection with toothed wheels and levers. Into 
this chamber or chambers a fluid or liquid is pumped, which 
necessarily acts in every direction on the internal surface of 
the chamber. The force acting against the lid cannot counter- 
act the force acting on the bottom of the chamber, forasmuch 
as the said lid has no tie whatever to the chamber, being sup- 
ported and retained in its position by the mechanism above 
alluded to. It must therefore be self-evident that the force 
acting against the bottom of the chamber, which is fixed la 


the arm, having no antagonistic fotc«, mnBt prodace a rota- 
tory motioa of said chamber ot chambers, tho arm or arms, 
and axle or shaft to which it is fixed, and whatever machi- 
nery may be attached to said axle ot shaft. 

1863. — KxNBi Adrikn Bonneviijj 
[No. 1667], patent agent, Paris; a 
communioation from Jules Ft'an9ois 
Duhamel, Paris. "An Improved 
Machine constmcted on Self-moving 
Principles for Obtaining Motive 

This invention oonsists in an hy- 
draulic self-moving apparatus pro- 
ducing on useful force by means of 
the simple weight of water. 

The figure annexed represents a 
sectional view, in which A, A is a 
covered frame supporting the whole 
of the apparatus ; B, B a double end- 
less cup chain passing over two toothed 
wheels C, C, to the arbor of which 
are fixed two pinions D, which woih 
the toothed wheels E, E, which trans- 
mit their movement of rotation 
directly to the wheels V, F. These 
latter wheels work those G, G, mounted 
on an arbor, on which are fixed the 
connecting tods H, H, with two elbow ' 
rods working tho pistons I, I of the 
two pumps J, J, placed at each side 
of the frame. The soction pipes T, T - 
communicate with a reservoir K placed at the bottom of the 
apparatus. Near the upper part of the cup chain B is placed 
a tosetvoir L, in which abut the discharge tubes M, M of the 
pumps J, J. This reservoir has at its lower part a tube N, the 
spring tap O oT which is opened intermittingly in otdet to 
allow of the watet tunning successively into each of the enpa 
fised to the endless chain. The tap is opened by means of the 
double cam P placed in the centre of the arbor of the small 

282 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

wheels S, S, whicli cog in the large wheels Q, Q, moimted on 
the arbor of the wheels C, C. On the arbor of the wheelB 
F, F, and at one of its extremities, is mounted a transmission 
pulley K. 

The apparatus is set in motion, after having filled the two 
reservoirs with water, by opening the tap of the upper one 
so as to let the water run into each of the cups fixed to the 
front of the^ endless chain. The augmentation of the weight 
of each of these cups causes them to descend successively into 
the lower reservoir K. When turning over, they empty 
themselves, remount at the other side, and are again filled at 
the tap of the upper reservoir L. The chain being thus 
drawn gives a rotary motion to the wheels C, C, which is 
transmitted by the common arbor to the wheels Q, Q, work- 
ing the small wheels S, S, and the double cam P, which con- 
tinues to open the tap to let the water run into the cups, and 
to the wheels E, E, F, F, G, G, which act by the connecting 
rods H, H, on the pistons of the pumps, which therefore feed 
incessantly the upper reservoir L. Thus the water of the 
lower reservoir unceasingly raised by the pumps into the 
upper reservoir, from whence it runs continually, constitutes 
a self-acting motive force entirely without expense. 

1863. — Patricio Maboos del Eio [No. 1968], of Jermyn 
Street, London, gentleman. " A New Machine for Obtaining 
Motive Power." 

My invention consists in the construction of a machine 
for obtaining motive power to set in motion other machines, 
thus avoiding the use of steam, water, animal power, <&c., bnt 
one of the indispensable conditions of my contrivance is that 
it must be perfectly level. The construction of the machine 
is very simple, for it consists only of a pendulum, two wheels, 
one of which is suitably mounted on a shaft or axle, and with 
proper standards and a weight, which moves up and down by 
means of a cord or chain passing over pulleys to one of the 
wheels. The pendulum beginning its oscillation moves one 
of the wheels which puts the other in motion, by which 
means the weight is raised ; this latter then falls and strikes 
the pendulum at the very moment that it completes its oscil- 
lation, thus forcing it to its first position ; ttffcer which the 



same moTements again take place, and will oontmne until it 
is wished to stop tlie machine. 

1863.— loNAHO DE Anqbus [No. 2314], of Naples, Italy, 
captain in the army, residing in Cb'eek Street, London ; com- 
municated by the inventor, Federico Salomone, of Chieti, in 
Abruzzi, Jialy. "An Improved Apparatus for Obtaining 
Motive Power." 

The apparatus for obtaining motive power, to which this 
invention relates, is constructed as follows : — Two dmrns, 
each composed of two wheels, are fast on one axis, and are 
provided with four weights, which carry arms or levers, and 
turn on their axes, but are prevented from tnmii^ unduly 
by stops ; on each arm or lever is a cylinder. The lever or 
cylinder bears against teeth formed on a toothed platform on 
which are the drums. The arms or levers project over the 
axis of the drums withoot touching it. This arrangement is 
exemplified in a side elevation, and a transverse section; 
Bhowing two dmms &st on an nTJa • each dmm consists of 

two wheels, and is provided with four weights ; each weight 
turns with its axis, and carries an arm or lever which pro- 
jects &om the drums into the outer circular space. Stops 
or abutments are $xed to the wheels ; the weights bear against 
these stope, and are thereby prevented &om turning com- 
pletely or too far in one direction, but are free to tnm to the 
required extent in the opposite direction, or away from or on 
the side opposite the stops. At the end of each arm or lever 
is a cylinder which turns on its own axis. This lever, or 

284 PEBPBTUUM mobile; 

cylinder, bears against teeth. Tlie arms, with their cylinders, 
subtend or bridge over the axis but do not touch it. The 
drums are placed on a toothed platform, which is inclined 
towards the centre, and round which platform are formed the 
two sets of rings of teeth, whereof each tooth of one set corre- 
sponds with or stands opposite the space between eyery two 
teeth of the other set. The weights are so disposed as to be 
thrown out of equilibrium one immediately after another, the 
weight of one drum being so thrown out of equilibrium after 
the weight of the other, and the weights of each drum being 
thrown out of equilibrium alternately with those of the others, 
rotary motion is thereby communicated to the drums on the 
platform. There are grooves in the platform, in which the 
weights work without touching the surfaces of the grooves ; 
there is a projection on the platform, on which are teeth ; also 
a connecting arm or crank shaft, in which the axis works. One 
mode of stopping the drums is by brakes on their outer wheels, 
worked by a handle, driving a screw, which draws an axis 
upward, thereby raising a shaft, which drives the brakes 
against the weights, and holds them fast against the stops. 

[Such is the provisional specification of a patent which was 

duly completed for the first term of three years, which will 

expire in November, 1866, when, if not extended for a further 

term of four years, it will be open to the free use of whoever 

may desire to start the manufacture of these extraordinary 

engines. The final specification, occupying four folio pages 

of print, is accompanied with a large sheet of drawings ; but 

the provisional specification, as now given, will satisfy all 

the interest the invention is ever likely to excite.] 

1863. — Edmond Gibson Athbrlbt [No. 2662], of Orme 
Square, Bayswater, London, barrister-at-law. "Obtaining 
Motive Power by certain Arrangements of Machinery and 

The machinery or apparatus consists of two parts, which 
are connected to each other by a channel and a double- 
balance lever. The one part has a cistern, which is in con- 
nection with a bucket belonging to the second part, through 
which channel water passes and repasses to either vessel 


alternately and oontinuoasly. This channel is provided with 
a flexible joint to allow of its being bent at a right angle 
over the axis of a wheel belonging to the second part. The 
cistern is depressed by means of a moveable weight, which 
is composed of three parts, viz, the centre or body and of 
two wings, which wings are so attached to the body as to 
admit of their expansion or collapse for the purpose of 
allowing the weight itself to be removed from and replaced 
upon brackets or rests which are above the cistern. The 
cistern is lowered either to force pistons which may be at- 
tached to the bottom of it into cylinders to act as pumps, or 
for the purpose of obtaining a motive power, and fliis power 
is dependent upon the weight of the body placed upon the 
cistern in its descent. 

In order to elevate the cistern after its depression, either 
levers or weights suspended to pulleys are employed, and 
which begin to operate the instant the weight is removed 
from the cistern. The means employed to place the weight 
upon the cistern is as follows : — Two chains or connections 
are attached respectively to each wing of the weight, and pass 
by means of tubes through the cistern to the under surfaces 
of pulleys, then up to the bottom of the cistern to which they 
are affixed, and it is so arranged that at the full ascent of the 
cistern these connecting media are so tightened as only to 
become relaxed by the collapse of the wings and consequent 
descent of the weight upon the cistern. 

Motive power may be obtained by passing the water raised 
by the pumps over a water-wheel, and by i£is means a small 

and linSted quantity of water by'pasrin^ -d repassing oyer 
this water-wheel becomes as effectual as a stream of river 
water, and has, moreover, this advantage, that the power is 
always imiform in its effects, and becomes as useful as steam 
without its danger. The apparatus can thus be employed in 
any part of the coimtry where even a small supply of water 
can be obtained. 

[Thus far the inventor has endeavoured to enlighten us, his 
further description, however, is quite superfluous. His con- 
clusion is most flattering, for we are assured that the arrange- 
ment of the whole apparatus is so contrived as to make it 

286 FSBFBTmni mobilb; 

self-acting, yet so nicely ore the parte to the operatioii of the 
whole balanced, and so nniform and simple in moyement, 
that the action may be stopped at any moment, and the pos- 
sibility of an accident avoided, howeyer great the power 
employed may be.] 

1864. — BuBBowBs WiLLCOOKS Abthub Sleigh [No. 1010], 
of Alfred Place, Bedford Square, London. " Improyemento 
in Obtaining and Applying Motive Power," the same is the 
result partly of my own invention and partly a commnnica- 
tion made to me by my father, the late William Willcocks 
Sleigh, resident at Alfred Place, Bedford Square, London. 

The principle upon which this invention is based is that 
of rendering nugatory one of two antagonistic forces, both of 
which have power of propulsion, and by neutralizing the one 
by directing its force in unison with the other, it is made 
subservient to the combined action of both, and the proposed 
method of carrying this principle into practical effect is as 
follows: — A foundation or base upon which to erect the 
machine and standards of metal on either side being con- 
structed, a shaft or axle is set thereon, resting between both 
in suitable bearings. To this shaft, which rotates on the 
axle, is fixed a solid frame divided into four arms at right 
angles to each other, the intervening spaces being hollow; 
two of these opposite arms serve to support two chambers or 
cylinders, in which pistons and their cylinders work, the 
covers of which are free or moveable, that is, the piston 
chambers are separated from the inner chamber by an india- 
rubber partition screwed down all round. These covers or 
Hds are prevented from separating from tiie chambers by the 
piston rod attached to an upper lever, which pressing on the 
lever and by it on the teeth of the wheel gives motive power, 
and are yet allowed to travel with the chambers parallel to 
their bases, by means of the above piston rods in connection 
with levers, which levers press upon legs working into a 
ratchet driving wheel keyed to the shaft. A force pump is 
applied and fixed to the front of the machine, whereby water 
is forced through the shaft and arms through tubes into the 
chambers, thereby causing hydraulic pressure on the piston 


acting on tlie lever above, and thence passing on the toothed 
pinions or legs which work in the ratchet wheel, as before 
described. The remaining arms serve to contain the bearings 
of the levers and legs working in the ratchet wheel, and are 
continued by branches bolted thereto at right angles and 
parallel to the base of the apparatus. These branches contain 
each a toothed pinion set on a shaft in bearings on each 
branch and arm, each shaft also having fixed thereto near the 
arms a small ratchet wheel acting with the moveable legs, and 
directly over the main driving wheel. The toothed pinions 
or legs press into the opposite notches of the periphery of a 
large toothed wheel, which is a fixture at the back of the 
apparatus, forming a fulcrum for the power given to the 
wheels by the moveable legs. The action of the apparatus is 
as follows: — The chambers being full of water, the force 
pump is worked by a handle which drives the water through 
the tubes until sufficient hydraulic pressure is created in the 
chambers. This pressure acts on the internal surface of the 
chambers in all directions, and the piston or lid of each 
chamber not being fixed or attached thereto, but capable of 
motion, although prevented from actual separation, as before 
mentioned, the pressure acting on the piston will not counter- 
act the force prevailing in the opposite chamber, and it will 
follow that such latter force being freed from the counter- 
acting influence of the force or pressure acting on the lid or 
piston a rotatory motion of the chambers, the axle, and other 
portions of the apparatus must be produced, which may be 
applied by gearing from the shaft to any machinery. 

[The patents of the late Dr. Sleigh occur in the First Part 
of * Perpetuum Mobile,' pages 446 and 463.] 

1864. — BuRBOWES WiLLoooKS Abthub Sleigh [No. 2336], 
of London, Esquire. " Improvements in the Means of Ob- 
taining Continuous Botary Motion by means of a Hydro- 
static Eotatory Motive-power Engine for the Propulsion of 

This invention consists in a new mode of applying hydraulic 
power, whereby a continuous rotatory motion is obtained, by 
means of which all manner of machinery may be worked and 


I erect two upriglit frames, one parallel to the other, to act 
as standards or bearers, upon which and between which an 
axletree rests and revolves, upon which is fixed a wheel cut 
on the outer circle into teeth, to act upon a smaller wheel, also 
cut into teeth, which smaller wheel aids in obtaining speed, as 
the larger wheel in revolving works into its teeth and drives 
it round with a velocity in proportion as the smaller wheel is 
to the larger. Through the smaller wheel an axletree passes, 
upon which this ^vheel is fixed, the axle resting upon portions 
of the standards before mentioned at either side, which axle- 
tree actuated by the rotation of the wheels drives other wheels, 
fly-wheels, and machinery which may be attached thereto. 
The power from whence the motion is obtained is hydrostatic, 
and is applied as follows : — I place upon the base or found- 
ation, upon which rest the bearers or standards, at a proper 
distance of interval, two hydraulic pumps of certain neces- 
sary dimensions, regulated by the power required and size of 
the machinery to be worked, the stroke of oue pump drives 
water into a cylinder beneath a piston, the piston case being 
of the necessary diameter and superficies of contents accord- 
ing to the requirements of the length of piston ; this piston 
is screwed into a moveable socket, and as the water is driven 
by the pump into the cylinder the piston is forced forward by 
a horizontal movement, and by this presses upon a crank 
attached to the driving wheel to an extent by which the 
wheel rotates a half circle, being the length of the piston rod; 
upon this piston rod deHvering the length and exteut of its 
stroke a valve in the cylinder below allows the cylinder to be at 
once emptied by the water passing out through the valve, and 
the piston moves back to the bottom of the cylinder, ready to 
be again driven forward, when the pump again acts upon it 
by its propelling force. At the moment, however, of the first 
piston delivering the full extent and length of its stroke, the 
second pump dnves water into an adjoining duplicate cylin- 
der of the exact construction and size and contents, with 
piston, socket, and rod, as in the first, and by means of the 
action of the pump the second piston is driven out, and 
propels, by the action of its crank, the wheel another half 
circle, thus completing the rotation of the wheel one entire 
circle ; when the second piston has delivered its stroke, the 
piston rod retires as described for the first, and the first 


piston stroke being ready, the wheel is in like manner, by the 
piston rod acting on the crank, driven another half circle, 
when the piston again retires, and the second piston again 
presses forward on its crank, and thus continues ; rotatory 
motion and power is obtained and given to the cranks, wheels, 
axletrees, and machinery attached, and this continues as long 
as the hydraulic pumps are retained at work. On the foun- 
dation upon which my engine stands I place a tank to hold 
the necessary supply of water for the pumps and cylinders, 
being connected thereto by the necessary pipes and valves. I 
propose that the handle or handles of the hydraulic pumps 
shall be attached, by ordinary appliances, and adaptation of 
levers and springs, to the engine, by which means an upward 
and downward movement would be given to the pumps by the 
engine itself, instead of it being necessary to give the pump- 
strokes by hand when once the engine is set in motion. 

[Thus ends the provisional specification of this unwieldy 

piece of machinery, the construction of which is further 

elucidated in a final specification of five folio printed pages, 

with two accompanying large drawings. Anything more 

preposterous it is impossible to imagine, or anything less 

worthy of being graphically transferred to these pages.] 

1866. — BuBBOwES WiLLOocKS Abthub Sleigh [No. 3431], 
of London, a retired lieutenant-colonel in H.M.'s Colonial 
Service, and formerly of the 77th Begiment of Foot. " Im- 
provements in Hydrostatic Eotatory Motive-power Engines." 

This invention relates to improvements on an invention 
for which Letters Patent were granted to me on the 28rd day 
of September, 1864 (No. 2885), and consists in an improved 
mode of applying and augmenting hydrostatic power, whereby 
a rotatory motion is obtained, conveying the power of hydro- 
static propulsion, augmented in force, as hereinafter described, 
by means of which all manner of machinery may be driven, 
worked, and propelled ; and the hydraulic element used to 
generate, produce, and aid in communicating the augmenta- 
tion of hydrostatic power having performed this office, by 
pressing upon the rams which drive onwards, the acquired 
increase of power passes out and backwards from the ram 
cylinders, which become emptied by the pistons of the rams 



driving them to the bottom or ends of their chambers or 
cylinders into the cylinders of the pump plimgers ready to 
be forced and ejected forward again ; nor is a fresh supply of 
water required, for when once the cylindrical mechanism of 
this engine is charged with the required amoimt of fluid no 
further replenishment is necessary, except to make up for 
evaporation or leakage, and thereby each series of rams and 
pnmp plungerB ha^g deUvered their Btrokes no freeh Bup. 
ply is required from an outside source, as the bases of the rams 
and piWp plnngers are never, while in work, remoyed from 
pontact with the hydraulic element. 

My improved hydrostatic engine consists of a bed plate 
or platform of metal which rests upon and is supported by a 
metal frame ; slots are left in the bed plate, through which 
work those parts of the engine and bauds or straps which 
are beneath or above the bed plate. The various parts of 
the engine are bolted down, and portions operate above as 
well as beneath the bed plate. In the first place there are 
placed upon the platform or bed plate in a horizontal position 
four rams, behind which are attached their respective series 
of pump plungers and cylinders. The ram and pump-plunger 
cylinders are placed with spaces between each parallel to 
each other. In each cylinder, duly bored out for its recep- 
tion, is a ram of metal, and each cylinder is grooved out at its 
mouth for the reception of a stuffing box or hydraulic pack- 
ing, through which the rams pass outwards in giving their 
respective strokes, and then retire inwards after delivering 
the same. The Sets of ram cylinders, with their rams, face 
the main four-throw crank driving shaft;, which revolves 
through plummer boxes or bearings, which are cast or bolted 
upon the bed plate with caps and metal brasses ; the four- 
throw cranks are set at right angles to each other, and each 
crank being alternately driven one quarter of a circle the 
four cranks thus complete an entire circle of revolution. The 
ends of the main crank shaft project at either side of the bed 
plate, and in rotating work or drive machinery. The rams 
are hollowed out to receive connecting rods which drive 
direct on the cranks of the main shaft, thus conveying the 
hydrostatic power to rotate the shaft. As the first of tibe 
four-throw cranks receives its power of propulsion from the 
jfirst rain, it performs its quarter circle of revolution, and the. 


fourth ram then moves forward in like manner, and as it does 
80 the first ram begins to retire into its cylinder. Tho for- 
ward pressure of the fourth ram drives its crank a quarter of 
a circle, in manner as described of the first ram, thus causing 
the second quarter of revolution of the main crank driving 
shaft and completing a half cirdo revolution of the shaft, 
and the same alternate movement of the third and second 
rams completes an entire circle of revolution of the shaft. At 
the base or ends of the ram cylinders are the pump-plimger 
cylinders before referred to. The pump-plunger cylinders 
consist of hollow cylindrical tubes of the necessary thick- 
ness of metal and interior diameter and bore. In these 
cylinders, moving through hydraulic stuffing, work in and out 
solid metal pump plungers screwed on to metal cross heads 
connected to guides. The guides are alternately pressed 
upon by levers, which drive forward the pump plungers, 
which in their strokes eject from their cylinders the water 
contained in each under the base of the rams, which press 
forward in manner as before explained. These levers, which 
I designate my compensating levers of oblique action, are 
arms or jointed rods of metal of equal length standing up- 
right at the end of the bod plate and directly to the rear of 
the pump plungers. The lever arms are forked at their 
bottoms to receive a pin which passes through the cross heads 
of the pump plungers, thus attaching the rods thereto. The 
upper ends of these levers are joint^ to other or real levers, 
pulleys rotating between the joint pins, the bases of the rear 
levers rotate upon a shaft which is firmly fixed to the bed 
plate by plummer boxes, extending between the bases of the 
levers and of equal length, making an equilateral triangle is 
a third arm laying horizontally and pointing to the pump 
plungers, at the rear end of which and in close proximity 
to the bases of the rear levers are attached pulleys. The 
horizontal bars or arms are attached at the ends to gun-metal 
lugs, and slide between guides. At the upper ends of the 
jointed levers straps, chains, or bands pass over the respec- 
tive pulleys, descending over the pulleys fixed on the ends 
of the sliding bars, and then passing through slots in the bed 
plate run under the same to the second crank shaft, upon 
which aro at right angles four cranks of a throw equal to the 
length of one of the lever rods. The chains or bands are 


fastened to the end of the cranks. The second crank shaft 
is rotated by an outside power, and as it revolves the cranks 
draw down alternately the chains fastened to the levers nntil 
the levers reach nearly to a horizontal line, which pressing 
npon the cross heads of the pump plungers drive them in 
their full length, which ejecting the water under the ram 
cause the rotation of the main driving four-throw crank, 
upon which are keyed two fly-wheels of the necessary weight 
and size for the purpose of equalizing the rotation caused by 
the intermittent. full-power strokes of the series of levers 
acting upon the hydrostatic element contained in the cylinders 
of the pump plunger and ram. I can multiply the number 
of rams and place them in other positions relatively to each 
other, and I can vary the diameter and length of stroke ac- 
cording to the work to be done, and in proportion thereto, as 
also of the levers and other parts of my engine. 

[What a stolid age we live in that cannot at once appreciate 
the value of an engine that demands neither the aid of man, 
" nor is a fresh supply of water required," to keep it work- 
ing night and day until worn out. What an insane public 
we must be !] 

1864. — Loms Colombb [No. 2272], of Paris, householder. 
'' An Improved Mechanism for Producing a Continuous Ho- 
tatory Motion." 

My invention consists in certain appliances for causing a 
wheel to revolve by the action of weights or counterbalances 
adjusted and acting on the same spindle which carries the 
wheel, pulley, or such like. To eflect this I make use of a 
series of curved channels or tubes, which commence at or 
near the axis of the spindle, and which are gradually ex- 
tended or enlarged until they approach the outer edge or 
circumference of the wheel. At the end of the tube or chan- 
nel, and dose to the spindle, I form a chamber which is 
opened or closed by a vaJve or flap, which is acted on by the 
motion of the wheel. Within these tubes or channels are 
placed two circular weights or counterbalances, introduced 
by means of an aperture in the tube, closed by a plate or 
otherwise as convenient. One of these balls or circular 
weightB is retained by means of the flap or valve within the 



chamber before mentioned, whilst the other being farther 
from the axis of the wheel gives motion to it ; when the 
wheel has revolved as far as this weight will carry it, the 
£ap or valve drops and sets free the ball or weight within 
the chamber, which in its turn acts on the wheel in the same 
manner as the first one. Supposing a series of curved tubes 
or channels to be on the same axle or spindle with two cir- 
cular weights in each, their extremities being arranged at 
equal distances along the periphery of the wheel, they are so 
arranged that three of the weights or balances are placed to 
the left of the vertical line, whilst the remainder are passing 
the axis of the wheel, though at different distances from each 

1864, — Abbaham Hawkes [No. 2989], of Charlton, Dover, 
Kent, baker. " Improvements in Obtaining Motive Power." 

This invention relates to a peculiar arrangement and com- 
bination of machinery or apparatus with a view to the obtain- 
ment of motive power, and consists in the employment of an 
overshot water wheel, upon the axis of which is fixed a large 
spur wheel which gears into a smaller spur wheel fast on a 
second motion shaft. This shaft carries a large driving 
pulley, which by means of a belt gives motion to the rigger 
of a centrifugal pump. The suction pipe of this pimip com- 
municates at the lower end with the discharge orifice of a 
turbine wheel driven by the water which has already been 
used in working the overshot wheel. This water after pass- 
ing through the turbine wheel is drawn up by the centrifugal 
pump and raised to a spout which directs it into the buckets 
of the water wheeL The power to be obtained is derived from 
the combined force or action of the water wheel and the turbine. 

The drawing annexed represents a partial sectional eleva- 
tion of my combined machinery for obtaining motive power. 
A is the overshot water wheel, and B a large spur wheel on 
the main shaft thereof gearing into a smaller spur wheel C 
fast on the second motion shaft D. E is a large driving drum 
or pulley also fast on the shaft D for the purpose of actuating, 
by means of a driving strap F, a centrifugal pump or other 
suitable water elevator G. The suction pipe H of the pump 
communicates at its lower extremity with the upper and 
under discharge orifices of a turbine I, such orifices being 

oorered b; tJie cases E, K, from which l»tuieh pipes L, L, 
lotd and imite together in the bend L' of the mction pipe. 

The discharge pipe M of the pump conveys the water whl<A 
baa acted upoD the turbine into a tank or Bpont N, wbenee it 

r' 1 flowB into the buckets of the oTershot water wheel, and 
leaving the bnckets passee b; tbe pipe to tbe tarUsa 
to be again elevated by the pnmp. Power may be taken from 
the vertical shaft P of the turbine, or fiom the main shaft Q 
of the water wheel, or from both combined, if preferred. In 
starting the machinery it is of conrBe necessary to have s 
gnfficient reserve of water ready elevated to enable the water 
wheel to couunence its rotation, and therefore it will be ad- 
visable to have a tank in connection with the spoat N, into 
vrhich tank the water should be elevated by tbe pomp. If de- 
sired the turbine may be dispensed with, using only tiie pnmp 
and water wheeL 

ISGi.—Ero^NX CoKSTAin Habeb Bohnixb [No. 3148], 
Paris, merchant. " An Atmospherical Machine, or tbe PeT> 
petual Motion by Atmospheric^ Pressure." 


[It is difficult to believe tliat the contriyer of this project 
could be so deluded as to expect any practical result from bis 
combined pumps, rods, levers, bands, cogged wheels, and 
other details. He'assures us however : — 1 

The object of my discovery may be understood by the em- 
ployment of a given force, so that it may constantly act upon 
the machine to be worked, and that it may at the same time, 
and without absorbing its useful effect, maintain itself or be 
reproduced by itself ; this^ in reality, is the perpetual motion. 

The machme which I call "atmospherical machine," is a 
specimen of one of the means which may be employed for the 
execution of my idea, and the solution of the problem which 
I had proposed to myself ; and it appears to me at the same 
time to be the most simple, the most powerful, the least ex- 

[He proceeds in a rambling manner to describe a foolish 

and incomprehensible piece of complicated mechanism.] 

1865. — John Isaac Watts [No. 331], of Keevil, near Trow- 
bridge, Wilts, farmer and surveyor. " Improvements in Ob- 
taining Motive Power." 

This invention relates to a peculiar construction and 
arrangement of machinery or apparatus to be worked by 
compressed air for the obtainment of motive power, and con- 
sists in the employment of two cylinders of equal length and 
area, the one serving as the working cylinder, and the other 
as an air compressor, each cylinder being provided with a 
piston working air-tight therein. Between these two cylin- 
ders are situate two compressed air receivers, which are made 
to communicate by means of pipes with the top and bottom 
respectively of the compressing cylinder, and also communi- 
cate by means of a slide valve or other convenient or well- 
known arrangement of valves with the two ends of the work- 
ing cylinder. The working piston rod slides freely during a 
portion of its stroke through a reciprocating guide blo^, 
which is connected by a connecting rod to a crank on the 
main driving shaft, the throw of such crank being about three 
times greater than the stroke of the piston. A second crank 
of the same throw as the first, and at right angles thereto, is 
also formed upon the main shaft, which crank gives motion 
by means of a connecting rod to the longer end of a horizontal 

296 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

lever, tHe shorter end of whicH lever is connected to tHe com- 
pressing piston. The slide or other valves employed for 
regulating the inlet and outlet of the compressed air into and 
from the working cylinder may be actuated by an eccentric 
and the usual valve gear. 

In starting this engine an air pump is employed for charging 
the receivers with air at a sufficient pressure to start the 
piston of the working cylinder ; but so soon as this piston 
begins to move it transmits motion through the main shaft 
and horizontal lever to the piston of the air-compressing 
cylinder, which thenceforth keeps up the supply of com- 
pressed air requisite to work the engine. 

The crank in connection with the working piston is acted 
upon directly by such piston at the commencement of each 
stroke, only the remainder of the throw of the crank being 
effected by means of a large fly-wheel fast on the main shaft, 
and such extra amount of throw over and above the actual 
stroke of the working piston is allowed for by permitting the 
slide block to slide freely along the piston rod between two 
fixed stops, such stops serving to move the slide block and 
impart direct motion to the crank at the commencement of 
each stroke of the working piston. 

The compressing cylinder is provided with inlet valves at 
the top and bottom for the admission of atmospheric air 
therein, and the pipes leading to the compressed air receivers 
are also provided with valves, to prevent the escape back- 
wards of the compressed air after it has been forced into the 

1865. — Anthony Bbrnhard Baron Von Eathen [No. 818], 
of Fitzroy Square, London. " An Elementary Power Engine, 
or a New or Improved Compressed Air Engine for Imparting 
Power and Motion to all kinds of Machinery." 

It consists of a motive-power wheel, the motor being com- 
pressed air or other elastic fluid ; and is so constructed that 
the motor is retained in permanent activity without removal 
or renewal. Any loss of air is supplied by the engine itself 
working an air-compressing apparatus. 

There are flve folio pages devoted to the provisional, and 

nine pages to the complete specifications, together with 16 
large folding lithographed plates. 

ob, seaboh fob self-motiyb poweb. 297 

1866. — Anthony Bebnhabd Babon Von Eathbn [No. 
1899] and Geobob Henby Ellis, engineer, both of London. 
" A New or Improved Mode of Constructing a Motive-power 
Wheel whereby to obtain Permanent Motion by the Appli- 
cation of Compressed Air or any other Elastic Fluid." 

This invention may be considered supplementary to an 
invention of the Baron Von Eathen of an elementary motive- 
power engine, for which a patent has been granted to him, 
Number 818, and dated March 23rd, 1865, and consisting in 
a newly-discovered plan for the construction of a motive- 
power wheel or engine, on the principle that the motor, con- 
sisting of compressed air or other elastic fluid, is maintained 
in permanent activity and without removal or renewal, and 
the useful resistance of the air in the chambers is on the 
surface of a fixed cylinder, the motion is regular and direct, 
the wheel rotating on its fixed central axis. 

The nature of our present invention consists principally in 
our providing, instead of that, a motive-power wheel having its 
axis upon fixed bearings in an eccentric position and turning 
in an oscillating cylinder. The motor being brought through 
a hollow shaft, or any convenient channel, is introduced into 
one of more closed chambers formed upon the longest arm of 
the power wheel for the purpose of driving it round ; by this 
means, according to the uniform pressure of the elastic fluid 
upon all surfaces, we obtain not only a continuous but an 
additional degree of driving power from the leverage given 
by the position of the wheel. There is, as shown in Fig. 1 
of the accompanying drawing, a fixed arm or driving rod fixed 
upon the cylinder by which to impart motion to a crank, 
piston, or other apparatus. We propose to obtain the motor 
by pumps worked by or in connection with the power wheel, 
and having other suitable and necessary appliances for regula- 
ting, storing, transmitting, and manipulating the force supplied 
to or communicated by the power wheel, as have been de- 
scribed, to be applied with the pkn for working the elementary 
motive-power engine hereinbefore referred to. 

Fig. 1 is a vertical section of the power wheel revolving in- 
side and moving the oscillating cylinder. 

A^ and A' are air-tight chambers, the former being the 
driving chamber and the latter intended to check or counter- 
balance its wedging or binding effect upon the cylinder, 



owing to the extra leyerage obtained and the pressore upon 
the snr&ce of the rod B, &e wheel will revolye in that direc- 
tion by the action of the elastic force which finds its useful 
resistance on the internal sorfeuse of the cylinder 0. D\ D*, 
D', I>, are packings to render the two chambers air-tight and 
to afford barings for the fonr arms of the wheel upon the 
cylinder ; E, E, are two tubes for conducting the motor into 
the chambers, and F is the axle, upon which the wheel is 
firmly fixed and driyen round with it. 


Fl C . 2 . 



Fig. 2 is a side eleyation of the power wheel. F is the 
hollow shaft or axle, through which the motor passes from the 
pumps or reseryoir in connection therewith, and upon which 
the wheel rotates ; G is the rod or arm fixed at one end to 
the cylinder C, and attached at the other end by a joint or 
coupling H to the rod I, acting within a cylinder to giye 
motion to the piston K ; L is one of the side coyers of the 
power wheel, and N the support or framework for the wheeL 

1865.— Herman Lbonhardt [No. 1052], of St. Gall, Swit- 
zerland. " A New Motiye-power Engine. 

I ayail myself of the property of bodies or objects of a 
certain spec&c grayity when immersed in a fluid of a greater 


specific gravity to rise or ascend to the surface of snch fluid. 
This buoyancy represents a greater or a lesser force or power 
according to the greater or lesser difference between the 
specific gravity of the object and that of the fluid, and the 
size of or the displacement caused in the fluid by such object. * 
In order to make the said objects, which I will call floats, as 
light as possible, and yet strong enough to resist the pressure 
of the water, I construct them of thin sheet metal, and, in 
preference, in the form of tubes or hollow cylinders with flat 
ends. A number or series of these cylinders placed horizon- 
tally parallel to each other are hinged or linked together in 
a similar manner as the buckets of a chain pump ; ^is chain 
of floats is passed over two sets of pulleys or discs fixed to 
two horizontal shafts, the one placed vertically above the 
other, the said pulleys being formed to suit the diameter of 
the floats. One half of this chain of floats passes through 
the centre of the tank holding the water or other fluid, and 
the other half passes outside the tank through the air. The 
floats when in motion enter through the bottom of the tank, 
in the manner hereafter described, and rise up by their buoy- 
ancy through the water ; they then pass round the top pul- 
ley, descend outside the tank, and passing over the bottom 
pulley, again enter the tank, and so on. K cylindrical floats 
are used, as described, they are flxed on the connecting links 
half a diameter or more apart £rom each other ; therefore 
supposing the floats to be 50 centimetres in diameter they 
woidd be placed 25 centimetres apart. 

Now the principal part of my invention consists in reliev- 
ing the floats, when entering through the bottom of the tank, 
of the pressure of the water colimm, which pressure if not 
removed or neutralized would render the rising of the floats 
in the water impossible, and prevent the machine from act- 
ing. The manner in which ^e floats are relieved from the 
pressure of the water column when entering the tank is as 
follows : — On the bottom of the tank I form an entrance 
chamber for the said floats of a depth equal to the diameter 
of a float ; the bottom of the chamber and its top are each 
provided with double slides which open and close as the floats 
enter and leave the chamber. Supposing the floats to be in 
motion, and one of them to have arrived in the centre of the 
chamber, a lever actuated by the moving floats or by the re- 

300 PEBPBTTTmi mobile; 

Yolving float pulley or disc will cause the top or egress slides 
of the chamber to open in the same measure as the float rises; 
this slide acting through another lever wiU at the same time 
open a slide or valve in the side of the chamber and admit 
water into it, thereby bringing the water in the tank and in 
the chamber into equilibrium. When one half of the float has 
passed through the top or egress slide the next float will have 
arrived at the bottom or ingress slide, which latter will now 
open in proportion to the rise of the float. The egress slide 
will close in the same measure and at the same time shut off the 
communication between the tank and the chamber which was 
necessary for establishing the equilibrium. At this juncture 
other valves connecting the chfunber with pipes leading to 
the top of the tank are opened, and the water in the chamber 
which would be detrimental to the further rise of the enter- 
ing float is withdrawn through these pipes, which I wiU call 
return pipes, by suction, and allowed to flow baqk into the 
tank above the water level ; this suction is effected through 
the following arrangement : — That portion of the top of the 
tank where the floats leave the water is open, but the other 
portion of it is covered, and a partition dividing it from the 
open portion is made to dip into the water to some depth, 
thereby rendering it a hermetically closed chamber, and the 
above-mentioned return pipes open at a certain height above 
the water line into it. This chamber I call the vacuum 
chamber, because previous to starting the machine a vacuum 
or a partial vacuum must be form^ in "it, and afterwards 
maintained as long as the machine is to continue in opera- 
tion. The air is exhausted from the chamber by means of an 
air pump driven by the machine, but arranged for driving by 
hand for the purpose of starting the machine. By forming 
this vacuum the original water level in the tank will be dis- 
turbed, the water level being raised in the vacuum chamber 
and lowered to a corresponding extent in the open part of 
the tank. Supposing the tank to be of a height to hold six 
floats 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, 1 being the one above described, as 
entering the admission chamber, it is clear that as 6 leaves 
the water the water level in the open part of the tank will be 
lowered in proportion to the displacement previously caused 
by 6, and the water level in the vacuum chamber being 
thereby likewise lowered, it will cause a suction or drawing 


up of ^ater in the retorti 
pipes, equal ia quautiiy to 
the amanat of water dis- 
placed in the entrance 
chajuher by the entering 
float 1. The water sncked 
np throagh the return pipes 
will flow over into the 
vttcnnm chamber and distri- 
bute itself in the water of 
the tank. The ingteae and 
egress slides of the entrance 
chamber are furnished with 
linings or packing of felt 
previously boiled in oil for 
ensuring a water-tight fit 
against the floats without 
much friction, and the flat 
ends of the floats likewise 
pass between sheets of felt 
previously boiled in oil and 
pressed against the flat ends 
by fluted rollers. The air 
pump is maintained in ope- 
ration in order to remove 
the trifling quantity of 
atmospheric air adhering to 
and introduced into the tank 
by the entering floats. The 
motion communicated by 
the rising floats to the float 
pnlleys or discs and shafts 
is further transmitted by 
means of belts or other 
gearing in the manner usual 
with other motive-power 

The details of arrange- 
ment and construction of my 
new motive-power engine 
may be altered oi varied, 

802 PEBFBTUim xobilb; 

but the main feature of my inyention consists in relieving 
the floats, when entering the tank, of the pressure of the 
water column by means of a vacuum chamber and parts ocn^ 
nected therewith, as described, or their equivalents. 

[A final specification with three large drawings was duly 

filed, from which we select the annexed sectional view as 

amply su£&cient to satisfy any intelligent mechanic of the 

utter fallacy of such an arrangement.] 

1865. — Edmund Pbbbi^ [No. 1910], of Manchester, engi- 
neer. " Certain Improvements in the Method of Obtaining 
Motive Power, and in Apparatus connected therewith.'' 

The invention relates to a peculiar construction Mid ar- 
rangement of machinery or apparatus for obtaining motive 
power by the pressure of a body or column of water acting 
upon compressed air, and consists in the employment and use 
of a fixed cylinder divided into two parts, the central divi- 
sion being made by a valve of any suitable construction ; the 
upper or top portion of this cylinder is filled with water, and 
the under or lower portion is fitted with another cylinder 
sliding telescopically within it ; resting on the bottom of and 
within this internal telescope cylinder is an air chamber 
which is caused to expand and collapse as hereinaffcer de- 
scribed ; also through the bottom of this internal cylinder a 
flexible tube is conveyed from the said air chamber to another 
air chamber placed outside, the top cover of which is move- 
able and expands as the air chamber contained within the 
internal cylinder collapses ; the moveable cover of this second 
air chamber is connected by a connecting rod to a crank 
keyed on a driving shaft ; on the opposite side of this shaft a 
similar arrangement of apparatus is placed, so that when the 
two are set in motion in the manner hereinafter described 
they alternately will give a constant rotatory motion to the 
said crank, the sliding telescopic cylinders on each side the 
driving shaft being connected by a beam or balance lever. 
When the machine is ready for work the middle valve of one 
of the fixed cylinders retaining the water is opened, which 
has the effect of lowering the telescopic internal cylinder and 
at the same time compressing the air chamber contained in 
snch cylinder, the air of which as it is expelled enters and 


expands a second or outside air chamber with a force equal 
to the pressure of water exerted on the internal air chamber, 
snch force being transferred to a crank on a crank shafb 
throngh a rod connected therewith ; it will readily b eunder- 
stood that the column of water being equal in each cylind^ 
that they are alternately caused to lower and rise with each 
revelation of the shaft by their being connected as before de- 
scribed, that is to say, one of the telescopic cylinders by the 
pressure of water is caused to lower or descend during the 
collapsing of its internal air chamber, the opposite or second 
internal cylinder is raised, which forces the water through 
the valve of the second cylhider until it is wholly contained 
in the top second cylinder, at which time the valve is closed; 
at the same time also a valve is opened in the outside flexible 
tube which immediately reflls the air chamber of the second 
internal telescopic cylinder, thereby expanding the same ready 
to be acteid upon by the water, which takes place immediately 
with the simultaneous opening of the water valve and closing 
of the air valve in the flexible tube, the action of the two 
cylinders alternately acting as before described giving a con- 
stant rotation to the centre crank shaft. 

1866. — Edmund Bbbb^ [No. 62], of Manchester, engineer. 
*' Certain Improvements in the Method of Obtaining Motive 
Power, and in Apparatus connected therewith." 

My invention is designed for obtaining " motive power" 
by alternately inflating and compressing air bags or cham- 
bers by an arrangement of mechanism designed for such pur- 
pose, and which may be thus described : — A large revolving 
wheel is employed on a shaft supported in bearings, and is 
supplied with a number of radial arms, upon each of which 
an air chamber or bag is secured, the moveable or top portion 
of each being supplied with weights which are flrmly secured 
thereto ; these weights form an equipoise or balance on the 
wheel, but when in motion the air l^igs ascending from the 
lower to the top centre of the wheel are caused to expand and 
inflate with air by weights, when in that position, being hung 
therefrom, but in descending the weights rest upon and com- 
press the air from such bags, which being received through 
tubes communicating with one common thoroughfare become 
discharged into a second arrangement of air chambers, one 


end of whicH being moveable and the other fixed give motion, 
as the pressure of air is forced into them, to a crank or other 
equivalent. The air as the wheel revolves is received and 
discharged through perforations placed around the axis of 
the said wheel, one half the number of holes being constantly 
exposed to receive the air, and the other half being covered 
by a receiver or thoroughfare to which each bag is connected, 
and through which the air is expelled to the arrangement of 
bags, and giving motion to the crank as aforesaid. 

1865.— John Jambs Stoll [No. 1793], of Brixton Hill, 
Surrey, professor of languages. "A New Self-generating 
Continuous Motive Power." 

Let us suppose a wheel with a number of spikes, which 
ought rather to be called levers, for their functions will be 
principally those of levers, say 24 ; let these be of a suitable 
shape and thickness to allow other smaller wheels to run on 
them in much the same way as a train is now running on a 
railway. I need scarcely add that ihere is another similar 
corresponding wheel at the other end of the axis of the large 
wheel mentioned in the first line, and that if only one were 
used, it must be so constructed and so deeply indented, that 
it should, in fact, represent 2 wheels, and that the pivots of the 
smaller wheels should nm freely through them ; these 48 small 
wheels (24 for each large wheel) will run on the 48 spikes of 
the larger ones, whose sides may be divided in several zones, 
each having a fresh division of small wheels to nm through 
part of its diameter; and all the wheels on one or the same 
lever being connected with each other, either by solid bars, 
chains, ropes, or other pliant materials, it follows that one 
division of wheels being made to move in any direction will 
carry the others after them ; and if we suppose a weight of 
10 lbs., 50 lbs., or 100 lbs. attached or united to each of the axes 
of the last or external division of small wheels, and the other 
divisions having only their own ordinary weights (which 
might after certain arrangement also be increased by addi- 
tional weight), the result wxQ be that if a new small wheel be 
attached to each end of the pivot of the inner division of small 
wheels, that is to say, nearest to the axis of the large wheels, 
and made to nm over a suitable bar or rail forming an inclined 
plane, it will be found that the sets of small wheels on each 


of the large spikes, after having ascended and been fixed in 
their places by a spring or suitable contrivances, and main- 
tained so till again relieved by similar means on their descent, 
the weight on the extended, or what I shall call loaded or 
descending levers, or those opposite such as have been or are 
ascending on the other side, is about double that necessary 
for the continued ascent. The inclined plane bar is placed by 
the side of each of the large wheels, and the additional ex- 
ternal wheels mentioned before, of the inner division, run on 
it as on a rail, the levers of the large wheels pressing on the 
ordinary small wheels produce the ascent, whose inclined 
direction can be increased or diminished at pleasure, so as to 
moderate the forces ; instead of additional wheels, the pivots 
of the small inner section could be made to run on the in- 
clined plane. 

[In this strain the misguided inventor labours through 10 
folio pages of a provisional specification, beyond which he, 
fortunately for himself, did not proceed. He names his 
several levers by their numbers, and gives columns of calcula- 
tions through every page, and as if complication and friction 
had not already had sufficient swing, he further proposes : — ] 

" I must also mention that another band may be stretched 
from the axis of the large wheel on another toothed wheel also 
fixed to the projecting bar, which shall cause the screw to 
revolve both when fixed or when moved by a spring, and in 
that case it may be lengthened sufficiently for the purpose ; 
the force necessary for the revolution of the screws, it is 
supposed, wijl be much less than that produced by lifting the 
weights from a greater distance, and, of course, the advantage 
will be immense." 

1865.--ADDBRLET Sleigh [No. 2020], Knight of the Most 
Noble and Ancient Order of the Tower and Sword, formerly 
E.N., Captain late H.M. Army Transport Corps, M.E.H.S., 
and M.E.S.L., London. " Improvements in the Means of and 
Mechanism for Obtaining Motive Power." 

I fix two wheels vertically, of the same diameter (having a 
proper number of spokes), on a horizontal axle at any desirable 
distance apart ; this axle revolves in bearings supported by 
perpendicular framework. To eight segments of equal extent 

PBBPETnOI hdbilb; 

round the periphery of tiheee wheels are adapted eight hollow 
water-tight metal s^ment cases ; the size of each of tlieee 

segment ooaes correBponds to the lateral distance between the 
two wheels and to the extent of each of the eight segments 
roond the wheels ; their radial d^th from the periphery out- 
wards may be more or less than the estent of each segment. 
The lower corner nearest the axle of each segment case is 
fitted with rotmd metal eye loops. These eight segment cases 
are attached to the periphery of the wheels at the division 
between each segment by ronnd pivot or suspension bats 
passing horizontally and transversely through these eye loops 
and through corresponding eye bolts insOTted in the onter 
part of the periphery of the wheels. Thus arranged, the pivot 
or suspension iHirs which attach or suspend the segment cases 
to the wheels will be at the low» inner and nearest comet of 


the segment cases on the right-hand side of the wheels, 
while those pivot bars will be at the upper and inner corner 
nearest the axle of the segment cases on the left-hand side 
of the wheels, viewed from one fixed and transverse point. 
The eight segment cases being attached to the wheels, as 
before described, the upper parts of the segment cases on the 
superior right-hand segment of the wheels are allowed, from 
their centre of gravity overhanging the pivot or suspension 
bars, to tilt over and outwards to a distance equal to two- 
thirds of their radial depth, which movement increases the 
distance of the upper part of those cases on the right-hand 
side of the wheels from the axle, equal to the extent they had 
fallen from the periphery (chains are attached to the upper 
and inner comers of each segment case, and to the periphery 
of the wheels to restrain them in this position), while those 
segment cases on the left-hand side of the wheels, whose 
pivot bars are consequently at the upper and inner comers 
next the axle, rest close into and on the periphery of the 
wheels, thus destroying the equilibrium by the extension of 
leverage and the increased distance of weight from the axle 
on the right-hand side of the wheels, which consequently de- 
scends. Within each of these eight segment cases is fitted a 
lesser sized moveable thin metal air or gas tight chamber, 
about one-fourth the depth of the segment case; a straight 
piston rod, equal in length to the height of the segment 
case, is fitted into the centre of the top of the moveable cham- 
ber, which rod passes through a stuffing box in the centre of 
the upper part of the segment case (the upper parts on the 
right-hand side of the wheels become the lower parts on the 
left-hand side). This rod is attached by a cross head to two 
external outwardly curved from the axle side rods, one-fourth 
longer than the piston rod ; to the two lower ends of these 
external rods are fitted rollers which work between two fixed 
guide rods on each outside of the segment cases. These out- 
ward curved rods are united at their upper extremities by a 
strong cross head, to which is fixed a mass of heavy metdJ, 
proportionate to the capacity of the segment case, and pro- 
portionate to the capability of the buoyant power of the inner 
moveable gas or air chamber, when surrounded by water or 
any other liquid contained in the segment case ; this mass of 
metal is also supported on the cross head of the curved rods 

X 2 

308 PERPETTJUM mobile; 

by a moveable arm extending from a binge attacbed to tbe 
outer side of tbe segment case to tbe above-mentioned cross 
bead. Tbe eigbt segment cases and tbeir inner moveable 
cbambers are arranged and fitted as above described. To tbe 
points tbat divide tbe eigbt segments on eacb wbeel are fixed 
two spokes, wbicb extend a little distance outside and beyond 
tbe segment cases ; tbe extremities of tbese spokes are joined 
by a strong cross bar passing borizontally from side to side 
tbrougb tbe two spokes. To tbis cross bar is attacbed a 
collapsing and expanding cbamber, tbe transverse superficies 
of wbicb may be equal in extent to tbe back of tbe segment 
case, its vertical form being tbat of an acute triangle witb its 
apex downwards on tbe rigbt-band side of tbe wbeels, it being 
collapsed on tbe left-band side, its size and sbape being tbe 
same as tbe space left between tbe segment case and tbe peri- 
pbery of tbe wbeels wben it bas fallen out or tilted over on 
its pivot bar. Tbe sides of tbis expanding cbamber are 
formed of clotb or otber material impervious to air and water 
stretcbed on flexible ribs ; tbe back is tbat part nearest tbe 
axle, and next to tbe back of tbe segment case, it is metal, and 
is fixed immoveably to tbe spokes by tbe cross bar ; tbe face of 
tbis cbamber is also metal and is most distant from tbe axle, 
and being moveable on a binge at tbe apex, like tbe upper part 
of a bellows, compresses and expands tbe cbamber. To eacb 
of tbe cross bars connecting tbe projecting spokes at tbe 
points wbere tbe eigbt segments meet is fixed a cbamber of 
tbis description. Eacb alternate cbamber, and every inter- 
mediate one also, are united by tubes wbicb enter into tbe 
fixed metal backs; tbrougb tbese tubes water flows freely 
from eacb alternate and from eacb intermediate cbamber. 
To tbe upper part of eacb is fitted a self-acting valve tbat 
opens to admit tbe air, and closes to prevent tbe escape of 
water. To tbe upper and outer edge of eacb segment case is 
fitted a latcb bar tbat falls outwards against tbe moveable face 
of tbe cbamber wben tbe segment case is at tbe rigbt-band 
and superior segment of tbe wbeels, so tbat by tbe tilting or 
falling out of tbe segment case tbe latcb bar forces out tbe 
cbamber. On filling tbe eigbt segments witb water or witb 
quicksilver, and on filling tbe inner moveable cbambers witb 
air or gas, and on filling two of tbe cbambers and all tbe 
tubes with water, tbe effect will be tbat tbe uppet parts of tbe 


segment cases on the superior right-hand segment of the wheels 
will tilt over or fall out from the periphery, which motion and 
force opens and expands the chambers on that side of the 
wheels, drawing up by suction the water from the lower 
chambers into the upper ones. Simultaneously with this 
action the buoyancy of the inuer moveable chambers at the 
right-hand or descending side of the wheels buoys up and 
throws out to a considerable extent, at a tangent from the 
wheels, by means of the before-described straight piston and 
curved rods, the metallic weights before mentioned, while the 
moveable chambers of those segment cases on the lower left- 
hand and ascending side of the wheels draw in and up towards 
the axle the metallic weights, thus keeping continually at one 
side of the wheels an additional weight and quantity of fluid, 
extending the leverage at the same side, by which the equi- 
librium is always destroyed by the action of buoyancy, gravity, 
and hydraulics, as herein described. I do not limit myself 
to exact or relative dimensions, or to the number of segment 
cases in which I use water, quicksilver, or other fluids, pos- 
sessing the greatest amount of buoyancy. I use in, the move- 
able chambers within the segment cases, air, or the most 
attenuate gas or vacuum, for the purpose of obtaining the 
greatest amount of buoyancy. 1 place one or more of these 
wheels on the same or separate axles ; on any of these wheels 
I use, conjointly oi: separately with the hollow segment cases, 
solid metallic blocks to give greater power of suction to the 
collapsing and expanding chambers. I claim the application 
of this my invention by the usual means and methods to every 
description of machinery and to all objects requiring motion 
and power. 

[So much for the provisional specification of this clumsy, 
uncouth wheel. Although the patent was duly completed we 
learn no more from the final, than from the foregoing verbose, 
immeaning statement, which, in an engineering sense, is abso- 
lutely a tissue of sheer nonsense.] 

1869. — Addeblby Sleigh [No. 13331, Netting Hill, Lon- 
don. " Improvements in the Means of and Mechanism for 
Obtaining Motive Power." 

I fix vertically two discs or wheels with spokes of the same 


diameter and (rize on one common horizontal axle at any de- 
sired dietance apart, and unite those discs ox wheels by trans- 

verse bars so as to make them oae wheel, which I shall call 
the " main wheel," the axle of which rests on, and revoWea in, 
bearings supported by a perpendicutsr fi-amework. The peri- 
phery of the main wheel is divided into several equal seg- 
ments. I adapt eight at present, estcmally to each of those 
segments. Bound the main wheel are adapted oblong square 
blocks which I term "segment blocks" of any heavy sub- 
stance, the size of each being eqnal in width to the transverse 
breaddi of the main wheel. In length to the extent of each 
segment, and the radial depth from the periphery of the main 
wheel, outward, may be more or less than five-eighths the 
semi-diameter of the main wheel. Viewing the main wheel 
from one transverse point, the lower comers nearest the axle 


of eacH segment block on the right-hand side of the main 
wheel, which comers are the upper ones on the left-hand 
side of the main wheel, are fitted with eye loops, by which 
the segment blocks are attached to eye bolts at the division 
of each segment round the periphery of the main wheel. 
Thus attached, the upper parts of the segment blocks on the 
right-hand side of the main wheel tilt over and fall oflf, and 
outward, from the periphery of the main wheel to a distance 
of nearly one-half their radial depth. Links attached to the 
upper comers of each segment block restrain them at this 
distance from the main wheel, while on the left-hand side of 
the main wheel, the eye loops of the segment blocks being 
uppermost, the segment blocks consequently lie close to and 
rest against the periphery of the main wheel. To the upper 
moveable comers of each of the segment blocks are fitted 
latches which catch the moveable comers of those blocks at 
the moment they are brought in close contact with the peri- 
phery of the main wheel, and disengages at the moment that 
the blocks are about following from the main wheel. I fix 
to the bearings inside the framework a circular disc of the 
diameter of about one-tenth of the diameter of the main 
wheel. The centre of this disc is perforated with a round 
hole through which the main axle revolves freely. The one- 
fourth of the segment of this disc, which is contained between 
an angle of forty-five degrees elevation and of forty-five de- 
grees depression from the axle of the main wheel on the 
right-hand side, is toothed with projecting cogs from its peri- 
phery. On each spoke of the main wheel, corresponding to 
the eight segment blocks, I place vertically, on a round pivot 
close to the disc, a small pinion wheel about half the dia- 
meter of the fixed circular disc, the teeth of which pinion 
wheel work in the cogs of the fixed disc round the main 
axle. Each of those pinion wheels have fixed to them a drum 
of equal diameter to the pinion wheel. To each of these 
drums is attached one end of a strong band or fiat chain. 
The other end is attached to the moveable comer of each 
segment block, which bands or fiat chains are of sufficient 
length to allow the moveable comers of the segment blocks 
to fall out from the main wheel as before described. On the 
transverse opposite side of the main wheel, round and to the 
bearings inside the framework, I fix, as described on the other 

312 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

transverse side of the main wheel, a circular disc of the same 
circumference and thickness as the previously described disc. 
A segment of one-fourth of the upper part of this disc is 
toothed with projecting cogs ; this part is contained between 
the angles of forty-five degrees elevation from the axle. On 
the right-hand spokes I fix on round pivots eight small 
pinion wheels (of the same diameter as those at the opposite 
side) that work in like manner as at the transverse opposite 
side of the main wheel in the upper cogged segment of the 
circular fixed disc. To these pinion wheels are also fixed 
drums. To the drums of each of those eight pinion wheels 
are attached, by means of a stud, one end of a bar, which end 
is flexible, so as to wind roimd, and on to the extent of a 
semicircle of the drum. The other ends of those bars are 
attached by a flat-headed pivot to the moveable comers of 
each segment block. Those bars are sufficiently long to 
allow the moveable end of each segment block to fall off 
from the main wheel to the distance of nearly one-half of the 
radial depth of each segment block. Between the two discs 
or wheels that form the main wheel and round the axle (at 
about half the distance from the main axle to the periphery of 
the main wheel) I fix a periphery of another wheel whose 
centre is the main axle, and its spokes identical with those 
of the main wheel. To the periphery of this wheel I fix to 
each of the eight sections corresponding to the eight sections 
of the main wheel an expanding and collapsing water air- 
tight chamber of the wedge shape of that vacancy formed by 
the falling out of the " section blocks" from the periphery of 
and on the right-hand side of the main wheel, or chambers 
of any other convenient shape. Each alternate collapsing 
and expanding chamber and every intermediate one likewise 
are united by water-tight tubes. The ends of those tubes 
which enter the chambers are fitted with valves that close 
and cut off the communication between the collapsed cham- 
bers on the left hand and the expanding chambers on the 
right hand of the main wheel. Those valves open between 
the expanded chambers on the right-hand side of the main 
wheel. The moveable face of each expanding and collapsing 
chamber is attached to the flexible bars that unite and roll 
round the drums of the small pinion wheels to the moveable 
comers of the segment blocks. The moveable face of each 


expanding and collapsing chamber is attached to the straps 
that unite the drums of the pinion wheels to the moveable 
comers of the segment blocks, so that the moveable face of 
each chamber collapses or expands at the same time, and in 
unison with the falling off from or drawing in to the peri- 
phery of the main wheel the segment blocks. At whatever 
point round its axle the main wheel is restrained the seg- 
ment blocks and the collapsing and expanding chambers will 
occupy the following described position, namely, the seg- 
ment block on the summit of the main wheel is slightly ele- 
vated by the flexible bar attached to its corresponding pinion- 
wheel drum, the corresponding chamber of which expands to 
the same extent, while the next but one segment block on the 
right-hand side of the main wheel is drawn into a corre- 
sponding distance by ite pinion-wheel drum band, and the 
corresponding expanding chamber becomes collapsed in the 
same degree by the same drum band, the intermediate sec- 
tion block above the last described one has fallen out to its 
full extent from the main wheel and has expanded its cor- 
responding chamber, while the alternate or next but one 
section block below the aforesaid one which is nearly under 
the axle is drawn close up by the pinion-wheel drum band to 
the main wheel and caught there by the latch, while its cor- 
responding chamber becomes collapsed by the same band. 
In this position the main wheel, when unrestrained, will at 
once revolve and continue to do so, its equilibrium being de- 
stroyed by the extension of the leverage on the right-hand 
or descending side of the main wheel, by the principal weight 
of the summit section block being thrown on the right-hand 
side of the main wheel, and by the wheel being restored to its 
proper form beneath the axle and on the left-hand or ascend- 
ing side of the main wheel. This continued motion and 
power are increased by filling three of the expanding and 
collapsing chambers and all the connecting tubes witil^ any 

1865. — Cecil Loftus Wbllbsley Eeadb [No. 3260], of the 
60th Eegiment, Parkhurst, Isle of Wight. " Improvements 
in Obtaining Motive Power Applicable to Various Useful 

This invention relates to certain improvements in obtaining 

314 PEBPETuuu mobile; 

motiYe power by magnetism or grayitation, or botli combined, 
applicable to yarions useful purposes, including magnetic or 
electric clocks. I propose to construct an iron wheel with 
radial spokes and central box or hub, which is to be set on a 
shaft supported by standards or bearings ; on the circumfer- 
ence or outer periphery of this wheel I apply eight or more 
tangential hammers or armatures; they are attached by 
hinges, and are in the form of arcs to correspond with the 
periphery of the wheel. Thus, in whatever position the wheel 
is placed, it will follow that all the armatures abeve the level 
of a horizontal line drawn through the diameter of the wheel 
will be closed or concentric with the circumference, while the 
others will be open or in an outward or extended position, 
thus creating a leverage and causing the wheel to be out of 
equiHbrium, that side of the wheel on which the hammers are 
extended will be borne down, thus bringing over the succes- 
sive armatures, and creating a continnons rotary motion, 
while the ascending armatures will fall against the opposite 
side of the wheel, and not exercise any counteracting leverage 
to the descending series. The foregoing is an example of i£e 
power of gravitation, but where I desire to aid the motion by 
electricity or magnetism, I propose to apply a series of electro- 
magnets aroimd and outside the wheel and armatures, whereby 
the armatures will successively be attracted during the revo- 
lution of the wheel, and thus create a continuous motive 
power. By an application of clockwork-movement the speed 
of the wheel may be easily regulated, and thus the power ob- 
tained may be made applicable to timekeepers. 

1866. — Gbminiano Zanni [No. 804], of London. " Improve- 
ments in Apparatus for Obtaining Motive Power." 

My improvements in apparatus for obtaining motive power 
relate, first, to the application of hydrostatic and pneumatic 
pressure, for the purpose of producing rotary motion to an 
axis, in combination with the gravitating power of a weight 
or fluid previously raised into such a position above the centre 
of gravity of such axis as to give preponderance to one side 
thereof, and thus cause it to make half a revolution, and so on 
in succession, whereby continuous rotatory motion is imparted 
to the central axis, from which the power obtained may be 
transmitted by tootiied wheels or other suitable mechanism. 


One arrangement of mecHanism or apparatus which I employ 
in carrying out the first part of my invention consists of an 
air-tight drum or cylinder, formed in two parts, mounted upon 
an axis, and arranged to revolve together with the axis as one 
drum or cylinder. The two parts are so formed that when 
two of thei; sectional sur&ces on one side of the axis meet or 
come together an angular recess (radiating from the axis to 
the periphery) is left between the two parts on one side of the 
drum, thus causing the drum for the time to be lighter on 
that side than the other. The two parts of the drimi are 
capable of movement upon the axis, the angular recess being 
alternately formed on opposite sides of the axis, the closing 
of the parts together on one side thus causing the angular 
recess or opening to be formed on the opposite side. The 
central axis is supported in suitable bearings in a tank of 
water or other liquid, one end of the axis passing through a 
stuffing box on the side of the tank. When the tank is partly 
filled with water, so as nearly to submerge the drum, the 
buoyancy of the air-tight sections of the drum will cause 
them to close together at the upper part, and thus raise the 
central weighted parts of each section above the centre of 
gravity of the central axis. The buoyant action of the parts 
also causes a column of mercury or oilier fluid (or it may be a 
weight) to be forced to the upper circumference of the drum, 
so as to give it a preponderance in the direction in which it 
is intended to rotate. In this position the parts are retained 
together for a time by a spring or other suitable catch, the 
angular recess between the two parts being on the under side 
of the drum. The drum in this position having a preponder- 
ance of weight on the upper side has a tendency to make a 
partial revolution by giving it a slight impetus in one or the 
other direction. When the heavy side of the drum has 
nearly reached the centre of gravity on the descending side 
the spring catch is released by self-acting mechanism, the 
buoyancy of the parts causing iiiem to separate on the under 
side, at the same time closing the angular recess on the upper 
side of the axis, thus again giving preponderance to the upper 
side of the rotating drum formed by the sectional air chambers. 
The centrifugal force acquired by the parts when once set in 
motion causes them to continue their rotation in the same 
direction, the opening and closing of the parts in succession 

316 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

causing the repeated transference of the weight to the upper 
side of the drum. The rotary motion thus imparted to the 
central axis may be transmitted by suitable mechanism for 
driving machinery, or for the application of the power for the 
purpose for which power may be required. 

According to the second part of my improvements, in place 
of submerging the apparatus, as previously described, the 
divided drum or sectional wheel may be caused to rotate in 
the air. The closing of the angular recess on the lower cir- 
cumference by the gravitation of the parts in opposite direc- 
tions causes a column of mercury or other fluid (supported by 
arms on the rotating axis) to be forced by the gravitating 
pressure from a chamber opposite or near the lower circum- 
ference into a chamber opposite the upper circumference of 
the drum, thus giving a preponderance of weight to the upper 
side or circumference of the rotating parts after each semi- 
rotation ; or this preponderance may be given to the upper 
descending side of the dnun or wheel by means of pneumatic 
bellows placed between the opening and closing parts, and 
actuated by their gravitation to raise or force a weight, quick- 
silver, or liquid, to the outer circumference on the upper de- 
scending side of the rotating parts ; or a rack and pinion or 
other mechanism may be actuated by the gravitating power of 
the sectional parts of the wheel to raise a weight into a 
position above the centre of gravity, so as to give preponder- 
ance to the upper circumference of the rotating parts. It is 
not essential, according to this part of my invention, that the 
parts mounted on the rotating axis should be in the form of a 
drum or wheel, as lever arms mounted on the axis may be 
actuated and caused to rotate by similar means. 

1866. — Jesse Ingamells [No. 1851], of Leverton Fen, 
near Boston, Lincoln. " Improvements in Machinery or Ap- 
paratus for Obtaining and Applying Motive Power." 

This invention relates to certain improvements in the con- 
struction and arrangement of machinery whereby motive 
power can be obtained and applied as a substitute for the 
steam engine, or other power, to various useful purposes, bat 
more particularly to driving machinery of every description. 

I propose to construct a cylinder of any suitable diameter 
and width, according to the power required. This cylinder 


may be of iron or wood, or both combined, and if of large 
dimensions may be built in segments and secured by exterior 
flanges and bolts, its internal periphery being flush and 
smooth. This cylinder is provided with a sufficient number 
of radial spokes in connection with a shaft or axle by which 
the cylinder is supported in a vertical position in bearings 
set on suitable standards and foundation plates. Within the 
cylinder I adjust a tube or hose of strong flexible water-tight 
material extending in a complete circle within and against 
the internal periphery or surface of the cylinder ; this tube 
is encased in a series of semicircular flat steel springs, each 
semicircular piece being brought in, or nearly in, contact with 
a corresponding piece at each side of the tube. Now the 
extremities of each of the upper springs is provided with a 
slot through which and on each side of the tube a flat band of 
steel is passed, thus connecting the whole series of upper 
semicircles with the transverse band of steel. From the axle 
or shaft a pendant is supported hanging down towards the 
lower portion of the cyfinder; this pendant contains in a 
slotted bearing a heavy roller which is caused to press upon 
the springs, which acting in lines parallel to the axle cause 
them to draw out in straight lines and bring the tube described 
to a flattened position upon the periphery of the cylinder, the 
tube assuming a diameter. Now one half or side of the tube 
in the cylinder is to be filled with water, which will create a 
weight on that side of the cylinder corresponding to the 
diameter of the cylinder and that of the tube, the other half 
of the tube being empty, but the roller always pressing the 
springs and the tube flat at the bottom of the cylinder will 
prevent the passage or escape of the water from the weighted 
side of the cylinder to the lighter side, and thus the balance 
or equilibrium of power will be destroyed, and motion of the 
cylinder effected by gravitation. The lower series of springs 
are attached and fixed underneath their centre to the cylinder, 
the upper series are connected together by means of the con- 
tinuous flat band passing through slots attached to the bottom 
springs. Assuming the diameter of the cylinder to be 30 feet, 
then the diameter of the tube should be about fifteen inches 
and a half, and the width of each semicircular ring about two 
inches, the width of the continuous bands about three inches ; 
several layers and series of lengths of thin steel should be 

318 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

placed side by side to break joint, and form this flexible con- 
tinuous band in order to' allow of its assuming a skew form 
when under the pressure of the roller. At all other parts of 
the periphery, except near the roller, the band presents a side 
view or flat side of the band, but on each side of the roller, for 
some distance, the bands assume skews or twists, and actually 
underneath the roller are flattened down upon the periphery 
of the cylinder and present edge views, which gradually dis- 
appear until the skew terminates and the full flat side of the 
band is presented ; it is the same with each band on each side 
of the tube. The roller of course always acts as a stop to the 
passage of the water, no valves being required. The tube is 
pressed outwards or flattened together with the semicircular 
springs into a straight line, from which position they can 
only escape by the gradual recovery of the flat band in 
assuming its former position. The series of steel bands are 
joined to the extremity of the upper springs by joints or 
hinges in order to facilitate their assuming the flattened 
position of the semicircular springs. The continuous band 
is jointed to the lower springs and the upper springs are 
joined to the continuous band. The tube is to be supplied 
with water by means of an opening made outside the cylmder 
and into the tube, so that the water may be poured in, after 
which the opening is secured by a cap or plug with a screw 
thread ; the water is to be supplied until its level reaches 
nearly to the top of the tube, which level will therefore 
always be constant so as to maintain the gravitating power. 
The roller is placed in a line parallel with the axle, the 
springs acting as moveable levers ; the flat bands passing 
through them acting to prevent the sudden return of the tube 
to a circular form and causing it gradually to approach the 
circular form during the decrease of the skew or twist of the 
bands till they present a flush or flat surface. 

The patentee not having gone beyond his provisional speci- 
fication his alleged invention has become public property. Ex- 
cept for his stating that by his arrangement the " equilibrium 
of power will be destroyed, and the motion of the cylinder 
efifected by gravitation," and again, that the level of the water 
will '' always be constant so as to maintain the gravitating 



power," we fiHoiild have hesitaied to clase tluB as an intended 
perpetual motion. It is quite cleat that the Incklees inventor 
does not know the most elementary principles of the snhject 
which he presmaptnoosly offers as an accomplished fiict. 

1866.— Hbtot Peinck [No. 1927], of Manchester. "Im- 
prorements in Motive-power Engines." 

In a vessel or tank I fix standards having bearings, in which 
is fitted a shaft carrying a wheel composed of two sides at any ' 
required distance apart. Each side consists of a boss, a rim, 
and any smtable even umnber of radial or diagonal arms or 
spokes, the opposite arms of each side being connected together 









w^-^ l\ 


<3m M 




by transverse rods or tie bats. To the transverse rode of 
each pair of arms I connect an air-bag carrying a weight, and 
each aii-hag has a screw valve for enabling the ba^ to be 

320 PEBPSTuiTM mobile; 

supplied with air. The air-bags at one side of the shaft 
communicate with those on the other side by means of tubes 
without valves, that is, one air-bag communicates freely with 
the one air-bag opposite to it, but not with any other air-bag. 
When all the air-bags are empty and closed the wheel is 
equally balanced, as all the weights are equal, and for en- 
abling the wheel to be set in motion it is only necessary to 
let half the bags be filled with air, and supply the tank with 
water to nearly the top of the wheel. For example, let us 
suppose there are twelve air-bags, six filled with air and the 
other six closed and empty, and that the air-bags communi- 
cate with each other in pairs, so that the air may pass from 
one air-bag to another as they successively pass the perpen- 
dicular. If the six right-hand air-bags are filled with air, 
and the weights on that side below, the other six air-bags 
will be closed and the weights on the top, the wheel will re- 
volve because of the water lifting or floating the full air-bags 
on the right-hand side, whereas the air-bags on the left-hand 
side of the wheel having their weights on the top are always 
empty, and have no lifting power whilst they are od that side. 
When the wheel revolves, and the top air-bag has passed the 
perpendicular, the weight instead of being underneath is at 
the top, and at once compresses the top bag and drives the 
air through the tube into the lower opposite bag, the weight 
of which has changed from the top to the underneath ; and 
the weight assists in expanding the bag for readily receiving 
the air from the top bag, and thus the lower bag will at once 
become a rising power and rise in the water, thereby assisting 
in causing the wheel to revolve. The next full air-bag at the 
top and empty air-bag at the bottom pass the perpendicular, 
and the operations of emptying and filling are repeated, and 
so on with each pair of bags in rotation continuously, each air- 
bag as it fills being lifted or raised by the water ; and as there 
are always five full bags on the right-hand side, and five empty 
ones on the left-hand side, the wheel is caused to revolve with 
power, and thereby enable the shaft to which the wheel is 
fixed to become a driver. When desired I employ hydrogen 
gas instead of atmospheric air, and thus obtain an increase of 

In another arrangement, instead of connecting one air-bag 
to the transverse rods of each pair of arms, I connect two air- 



bags to the B&id rods, one at eacli side, ttiid fix the veight to 
the top of one oir-bt^; aod to tbe bottom of the other, so that 
the weight when closing the bottom air-bag shall open the 
upper one, which arrangement enables the wheel to turn 
without water. 

This singular specimen of modem mechanical stupidity 
was doly honoured with a final and complete epedflcation. 

322 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

It is quite needless, however, after his foregoing statement 
to enter upon the patentee's lengthened description of his 

1867. — Juan Vila y Jov^ [No. 42], of Barcelona, Spain. 
" An Improved Method of and Apparatus for Obtaining Mo- 
tive Power." 

My improved motive power is based upon the pressure 
which liquids exert against the surfaces of the vessels which 
enclose them. 

My invention is carried into effect by mechanism construc- 
ted as follows : — An endless chain composed of elementary 
links jointed to each other is supported vertically at the 
interior at top and bottom by two rollers round which it is 
carried and which it causes to rotate. Each link is in the 
form of a hollow sector, the internal concave curve of which 
is successively applied upon the circumference of each roller. 
The lateral parts of each sector are radiating surfaces which 
converge towards the centre of the rollers in order to come 
into juxtaposition at the part where the chain a£fects the 
circular form ; this chain circulates at one side inside a box 
which contains a liquid mass ; the box is open at the top, and 
is closed at the lower part by the links which in succession 
constitute its moveable bottom. The result of this consecu- 
tive hermetic closing is that the liquid not being able to 
escape will always preserve its level, and will exert upon the 
different immersed links of the chain a series of pressures, 
the result of which will have the effect of overcoming the 
inertia, and of producing the permanent rotation of the rollers 
and of their shafts. I utilize the rotation thus obtained as a 
motive power for industrial purposes. The concave parts of 
the links which come in contact with the rollers have pro- 
jections to enter grooves of the rollers which are thus drawn 
by the chain. The box which contains the liquid mass is 
vertical, except at the bottom where it is curved, and where 
there are four pieces which with the passing link form a 
hermetic closing and thereby prevent escape of the liquid. 
Should a little liquid escape, a receptacle may be fitted to the 
apparatus to receive it, and a pump worked by the apparatus 
itself can return it to the box. The motive power is produced 
by a liquid column which acts by gravity. Supposing the 



box empty, that is to saj, not charged with liquid, the chain, 
the two sides of which are in equilibrium, will remain nii- 
moved. But if the liqtiid be introdticed into tEe box to a 
convenient height the bottom of 
the lowest immersed link sap- 
porting all the liquid column 
and yielding to its weight will 
be pnt in motion and will draw 
the chain and rollers. The 
immersed part of the chain oc- 
[ Q> cupyiug about two -thirds of 
the internal volnme of the 
liquid mass tends, by virtue of 
the law that every body im- 
mersed in a liquid loses a part 
of its weight equal to tlie 
weight of the volume of liquid 
displaced, to receive a vertical 
upward impulse in a contrary 
direction to the movement ot 
the chain; but there always 
remains to the profit of the 
downward movement a nseful 
effort due to the third of the 
pressure exerted upon the move- 
able bottom of the box. It is 
this effort imparted to the 
rollers, round which the chain 
passes, and to their shafts which 
I employ as the motive power. 
As every motive power r^ 
quires a regulator of the move- 
ment, and sometimes a retarding or bre(£ apparatus, I intoo- 
duce these two appliances in the machine as one of tha 
Dumeroua applications of my invention. 

[This and similar specifications partake of a truly serio- 
comic character. In what state of mind is the inventor when 
he proposes "regulating" and "retarding" appliances?] 

i867.— Chj 

i CoLWELL [No. 486], of Qorleston-cum- 


Southtown, Suffolk, gentleman. " Improvements in Apparatus 
for Obtaining Motive Power." The final specification states 
that : — 

The object of the invention is the obtaining of motive 
power by means of an apparatus which consists essentially 
of an arrangement and combination of arms or levers with 
weights and connecting bars or rods. Levers or arms weighted 
at the outer end, and toothed or cogged at the inner end, obtain 
motion by the gravitation of their weights, and transmit such 
motion by means of their toothed or cogged ends to connect- 
ing arms or bars, and thence through similar toothed or cogged 
levers or arms, working on centres, to weights carried at the 
outer end of the said lever or arms, so that as soon as the dead 
point, or what would ordinarily be the dead point, is reached 
it is immediately overcome by the transmission of power from 
such weight or weights at their thdn lowest point to the then 
uppermost weight or weights, thus overcoming any tendency to 
inertia, motion being communicated to all the moving parts of 
the apparatus simultaneously by the transmitting arrangements 
described. Instead of using teeth or cogs for transmitting 
motion (though, however, I recommend them) other mecha- 
nical gearing or appliances may be employed for that purpose. 
By the above means rotary motion is continuously obtained, 
and such motion may be applied in any ordinary manner. 

The accompanying engraving exemplifies in what method 
the invention may be carried into effect. The figure is a 
vertical section of apparatus constructed according to the in- 
vention ; such apparatus is supposed to consist of four wheels 
mounted one belund the other on an axis, but more or less 
than four such wheels may be employed. The full lines show 
a vertical section of the front wheel, and the dotted lines show 
the arms of three wheels behind such front wheel. 

a is the axis or shaft on which the wheels are all mounted ; 
each wheel consists of two parallel rims &, &, each of which is 
connected by radial arms o to a boss d, keyed on the axis a ; 
the working parts of each wheel are mounted between the 
rims and arms thereof, but the outer rim, boss, and radial 
arms are removed in the figure in order that the working 
may be fully shown. It must be understood that the pivots 
or axis/,y, n, t, hereinafter referred to, on which certain parts 
are mounted, are supported by and extend between the two 


parallel runs, radial annB, and bosses of the wlioel b, e 
e, e, are curved arms workmg on axes or pivots/, fixed in 

rims ; each arm carries weights g, g, held in place by adjust- 
ing screws g'"^. Each arm e terminates at its innermost end 
in a wheel a, toothed on a portion of its peiipheiy ; through 
the centre of these wheels the axes / pass. Each arm is 
capable of traveiling towards and from the rim, as afterwards 
described. 1 prefer that the extreme position of the arm, 
that is, its position when at the greatest distance from the 
rim, shall be snch that the distance of the centre of the head 
of Ihe screw g'"-, of the extreme weight g, from the centre of 
the wheel h, c, d, shall be equal to the length of the diameter 
of the wheel b, e, d, and when the arms are worked to their 
innermost or closed position they lie flat on the rim b. Each 
toothed wheel & is in gear with a toothed wheel t, pivoted on 


a radial arm c by the axis j, and terminating in an arm Jc, car- 
rying a weight I held in place by an adjusting screw l^. The 
wheel h is also in gear with a toothed wheel m, centered by a 
piyot or axis n on the rim h. o is an arm formed on the 
wheel m, and jointed to a socket p at one end of a connecting 
bar q, the farther end of which is screwed into a double 
socket r, to which is jointed at <^ a goide arm 8, jointed or 
centered at t to the boss d ; this socket r is also connected 
with an armu, which is screwed into a socket v jointed to the 
arm e, w is&n india-rubber disc mounted on a projecting 
portion x of the rim b, h, and so placed that when the arm e 
works outward projecting parts y on the wheels h, m, impinge 
and press against the edge of the disc w ; this arrangement is 
to prevent yibration or strain upon the works, and the disc w 
being elastic tends also to facilitate the return or inward 
travel of the wheels h, m, and their arms c, o. The dotted 
lines e, g, represent the arms e and weights g of the various 
wheels mounted on the axis a, and (in t^e patent's drawings) 
each colour indicates the arms and weights of a different 
wheel. When the weights g throw out either of the arms e of 
any of the wheels &, c, d, the action of the toothed wheels and 
other connections will force the opposite arm e of the same 
wheel in an inward direction, and so on, and the wheels are 
80 arranged that the arm e of one will take up the work from 
the point left by the next preceding arm e of the next wheel 
b, c, d, and as fast as that arm e has performed its work, so 
that there will be practically no dead point and no loss of 
power, and the wheels &, c, d, and the axis a will revolve with- 
out further or extraneous application of motive power thereto. 
As soon as any one arm e is at its inmost stroke the opposite 
arm e of the same wheel will be at its outermost stroke, and 
will begin to move inward at the half revolution of the wheel 
b, c, d. Any number of wheels b,c, d, with working appHances 
similar to those above described, may be mounted or keyed 
one behind the other on the same axis a, or they may be placed 
on arms projecting from an axis, or on a plane surface or frame, 
forming the rim or circumference of a large annular framework 
or wheel, or they may be arranged in any convenient manner 
around or about and connected with an axis for transmitting 
the motive power obtained by them. Pieces of vulcanized 
india-rubber or similar material may be inserted or inter- 

328 PBBPETUUM mobile; 

posed in the connecting bars or arms 9, «, at a part or parts 
of their length, so as to form portions thereof, by which means 
an usefnl amount of resilience is obtained, each such arm or 
bar being thus composed of both rigid and resilient portions. 
Or india-rubber or other like elastic packing may be inserted 
into the sockets, or introduced in the joints, by which various 
parts of the apparatus are connected together. Each wheel 
S, c, d, instead of having only two arms e, may have more than 
two such arms, each being pivoted on its axis in like manner 
to, but intermediately of the two first arms e, and being worked 
by gearing actuated by and similar to the gearing before de- 
scribed. I sometimes, by preference, arrange any number of 
my wheels h, c, d, on frames disposed around and connected 
with a common central axis, to which they impart, as above 
described, the required rotary motion. 

[The unfortunate patentee of this obsolete principle for ob- 
taining self-motive power, appears to have considered that a 
little additional friction, by introducing cogged levers, would 
be a decided improvement ! The result repays him with his 
pains for his labour.] 

1867. — Alexander James Habdy Elliot [No. 770], 
Lieut.-Colonel in H.M.'s Army. " Producing and Applying 
a Self-acting Mechanical Power for Working Machinery." 

Two lever powers are to be fixed in such a position as to 
work side by side, but from opposite or contrary directions of 
leverage, having their respective forces applied to the pistons 
of two perpendicular metallic cylinders fixed over the points 
of leverage ; these two cylinders to be connected by air tubes 
with two elongated cylinders of similar cubic measurement 
placed at a higher level, and fixed perpendicularly over the 
arms or shafts of the opposite levers, and having their pistons 
attached by rods to said opposite lever arms. ' The elongated 
cylinders are to be suppUed with valves at their upper surfaces, 
which will be opened at a required elevation of the leverage 
by means of rods or chains attached to the lever shafts, and 
thus by admitting air into the elongated cylinders when the 
pistons have been drawn by suction (or air exhaustion) to 
their highest elevation they will be suddenly released, and 
will fall by the weight of the leverage attached to them, 


forcing up the arms of th^ opposite leyers in a similar 
manner, and so producing a self-acting continuous double 
lever power which may be applied to machinery. 

1867. — Jaoques Joseph Bastin and Loms Anatole Baum 
[No. 1425], of Charenton le Pont, Paris. « The Use of all 
Kind of Industry, called the Perpetual Movement." [The 
following is given verbatim, being an application for pro- 
visional protection, which, however, was refused : — ] 

This machine or apparatus is of triangidar form, and has ' 
for metrical power the pression and force of a weight which 
keep continually raizing a smaller one, which is what con* 
stitue and produce its perpetual movement. Its march 
cannot be empeach by anny shoocks of anny kind whatever. 
Any system of escapement known can be applied and regulate 
its march and direct it at will. All kinds of connections can 
be applied to it according to the wants required. It can also 
be adapted to clocks. 

1867. — Alexandbb Melville Clabk [No. 3090], of Lon- 
don. A communication from William C. Stiles, of Nevada, 
California, U.S. " Improvements in Apparatus for Produc- 
ing Motive Power." 

The nature of this invention consists in arranging a series of 
hydrauHc bellows around the perimeter of a vertical wheel, and 
operating them by means of cams on the spindle upon which the 
wheel runs, so as to force the water from one bellows into 
another at certain points of the wheel's revolution. The weight 
of the water thus transferred from one point of the perimeter 
to another rotates the wheel and furnishes the motive power. 

In the accompanying cut A indicates the wheel turning 
npon a fixed spindle B, which is provided with two cams 
C and C^ Instead of this construction a revolving shaft 
may be used, and the cams fixed to the journal boxes or 
frame. Around the perimeter of the .wheel a series of 
triangular hydraulic bellows D, D\ D*, D', D*, D*, are 
arranged as shown. These bellows open at the end c, 
their sides working upon a hinge c^ at the opposite end ; 
a narrow channel e inside of the periphery of the wheel 
affords a communication from the interior of one bellows to 
that of the adjoining one of the series. This passage may 



be closed hj a valve in large macliines, though in small ones 
none will be needed in practical working. The valves when 
Employed will operate as cut-offs to prevent the water in one 

bellows from escaping into 
FIG . I . another in the direction from 

c^ to c and at the proper 
point, when any one of the 
bellows D has been filled 
from the next one D^ in ad- 
vance of it, and the latter has 
ceased to operate any more on 
this revolution of the wheel, 
the cut-off valve will close, 
severing the communication 
between D and D\ and pre- 
venting the escape of any 
more water from the latter 
to the former should any be 
left to escape. The operating mechanism of these valves 
consists of a bent arm t;^ connected with the hooks h, h, by 
means of a pitman v", in such a manner that the unlatching 
of the hook shall open the valves, and the closing of the hook 
upon the bellows shall close the valves. The valves will thus 
be always opened and closed at the required point. Instead 
of a circular perimeter the wheel A may have a polygonal 
perimeter, and the bellows may be made in the parallelepiped 
form. An independent polygonal perimeter or ring may be 
constructed and attached to the wheel in order to carry the 
bellows, or two such rings may be used, one on each edge of 
the wheers perimeter, with a deep channel between ihem. 
The wheel itself may be composed of two discs with the arms 
o, a}, and their connected machinery between them, the bellows 
uniting their outer edges. The bellows being thus con- 
structed and attached, a number of them su£&cient to occupy 
about one-third of the periphery of the wheel are filled with 
water and then closed water-tight. 

All the other bellows are water-tight, and there is no com- 
munication to or from any of them in any direction save from 
one to another through the passages e, e, above described. 
From the expanding end c of each bellows a chain % passes 
in towards the axis of the wheel a short distance, and then 


aronnd a pulley p^ after which it is attached to the outer 
extremity of a radial arm a, which slides in sockets u, u, back 
and forth to and from the axis B, and is operated by the cam 
C, closing the bellows whenever the arm a is forced out by 
the cam, and allowing it to open when the arm a is not thus 
thrown out On the other side of the wheel is a series of 
similar arms a^ operated by a similar cam 0^, and pressing 
with their outer end against a short arm or lever Z, which 
actuates a hook h. The object of the hooks h, h, is to close 
upon the bellows, as shown in connection with D*, D*, D*, D*, 
and fEisten them down until they arrive at the proper position 
to be opened and filled with water again, when the cam C* 
throws the arms a\ a\ out, forcing the hooks back from the 
plates 0, o, over which they had latched, and leaving the bel- 
lows free to expand again. The hook is fastened upon the 
plate just at the moment the bellows is completely closed 
and before the arms a, a, escape from the cam c. When the 
bellows have been thus fastened down by the action of cam 
C^ the force of cam C is no longer needed to act upon them, 
and it abruptly terminates. Springs 8, 8, are employed to 
assist in workmg the hooks %, %, in a manner which will be 
clearly shown by reference to the drawings, throwing the 
hooks forward upon the plates and forcing the arms a', a\ 
in towards the axis, so ttiat they will be ready to operate 
again when by the revolution of the wheel they come round 
to the cam. The inner end of all the radial arms on both 
sides of the wheel are provided with friction rollers r to assist 
them in travelling easily over the cams. 

The operation of a wheel thus constructed is as follows : — 
The bellows D, D^ on one side being filled and all the others 
empty, the wheel is eccentrically weighted and immediately 
begins to rotate on its axis by the gravity of the water in the 
bellows. As the bellows D^, however, reaches the position 
shown in Fig. 1, the cam C operates the rod a and chain i 
and closes &e bellows, forcing all its water through the 
passage e into the next bellows D above, where it continues 
to actuate the wheel till that bellows arrives where D^ now 
is, when in its turn it will give up its water to D*, and so on 
perpetually. The principle of the machine consists in per- 
petuating the eccentricity of the wheel A by means of the 
bellows, thereby causing it to revolve on its axis, and in 

332 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

nsing the power tlius generated in working the arms a, a\ 
and the yalyes, whereby the water is caused to operate the 
bellows. This is effectually accomplished in the manner 
above described, forming a simple and practical motive 
power which can be used anywhere and with greater economy 
and convenience than any other hitherto employed. 

[This bellows scheme has had many claimants under 
various modifications, as may be seen on reference to the 
First Series of 'Per. Mob.;' yet this sorry "improvement*' 
has been thought worthy of the expense of being completely 

1867. — William Stabkby [No. 3402], of Yeadon, near 
Leeds, York. " An Improved Apparatus for Obtaining Motive 

This invention consists of a self-moving revolving wheel 
or engine acting by gravitation and which is applicable for 
driving or propelling machinery for various, purposes. Upon 
a strong framework of wood or iron I mount three horizontal 
shafts in the same axial line and supported so as to be capable 
of revolving in suitable bearings, an open space being left 
between the ends of the centre shaft and the inner ends of 
the outer shaft. On the extremities of the central shaft I key 
or otherwise fix two massive discs or wheels of large diameter, 
and on the inner ends of the outer shafts I key or fix two 
similar discs or wheels facing the former. On the outer ends 
of the outer shafts I key or Sx two balance wheels or driving 
pulleys from which the power is to be transmitted by bands 
or otherwise. Each pair of discs or wheels Tthat is one on 
the end of the central shaft and the one facing it on the inner 
end of the outer shaft) is connected together at two diametri- 
cally opposite points by two coupling shafts running parallel 
to the central shafts or axes and supported in lugs attached 
to the periphery of the said discs, the lugs and their coupling 
shafts being so arranged that when those of one pair of discs 
or wheels are perpendicular to the axis, one above the other, 
those of the other pair of discs or wheels are horizontal and 
in the same horizontal plane as the axis, so that they exactly 
counterbalance each other. Hung from each of these coupling 
shafts is a disc or wheel (or a pair of discs or wheels) of 


fiinaller diameter than the before-mentioiied discs or wheels, 
BO that as each coupling shaft; passes Over the centre the 
smaller disc or wheel hangs in the space between the two larger 
discs or wheels, aboye and dear of the other coupling shaft 
which is then at the lowest point below the axis. These 
smaller discs or wheels are hung from the coupling shafts by 
means of links, the discs not being mounted directly in the 
lower end of the links but in shorter links or cranks which 
are jointed thereto. As each of these smaller discs (or pair 
of discs) descends by the revolution of the larger discs it falls 
on and rolls down a curved or concave way which supports 
it, taking the weight off the links and consequently off the 
larger disc or wheel. The impetus which the smaller disc 
or wheel gains on descending the curved way carries it partly 
up a moveable incline on the opposite side of the centre where 
it is held by a catch. The other smaller disc on the opposite 
coupling shaft is at the same time descending, and comes in 
contact with a lever connected to a massive balcmce beam above, 
the other end of which beam is attached by a connecting rod 
to the outer end of the moveable incline. The moveable incline 
being mounted on a fulcrum at its lower or inner end is tilted 
up by the action of the beam and raises the smaller disc still 
higher, thus keeping its weight off the coupling shaft until 
the latter has passed over the highest central point of the 
larger discs, when the smaller disc immediately swings across 
the space between the two larger ones and brings its full 
weight to bear on the descendmg side of the latter. Thus 
it will be seen that the weight of each smaller disc or wheel 
acts upon the descending side in succession, the said weight 
being taken off the said larger discs and supported on the 
concave way and the incline whilst it is being raised on the 
ascending side ; and hence, there beihg always a preponde- 
rating weight on one side of the axis, the machine will re- 
volve by the action of gravitation which is confined to one 
side of the centre only. 

I will proceed to describe more in detail the manner in 
which the same is to be, or may be, performed or carried into 
practical effect. Fig. 1 is a vertical section. A, a, repre- 
sents the franework which may be of iron, wood, or other 
suitable material strongly braced together and supported on 
a firm foundation. This framing carries in suitable bearings 


thiee horuontal shafts h, b, e, e, and d, d, all monnted in the 
same axial line sod capable of revolving in their respective 

bearings, an open space being left between the ooter ends of 
the central shaft e, c, and the inner ends of the outer shafts 
b, b, and d, d. On the extremities of the central shaft e, e, 
are keyed or fixed two massive discs or wheels e, e, snA.f,f, of 
largo diameter (say about 18 feet), and facing or opposite to 
the same on the inner ends of the outer shafts 6, b, and d, d, 
are also keyed or fixed two similar discs or wheels g, g, and 
h, k. Each pair c£ wheels g, e, and /, A, is connected together 


at two diametrically opposite points hj two coupling shafts 
t, t, and hy h, running parallel to the ^affcs h, c, d, and sup- 
ported in lugs Z, Z, I, I, projecting from the peripheries of the 
discs or wheels e,/, g^ A, respectively, the relative positions of 
the lugs and their coupling shafts being so arranged (as seen 
in the dra¥dng) that when the coupling shafts t, t, are in the 
horizontal plane or on a level with the shafts b,c,d, the 
coupling shafts %,%, will be in a vertical plane or at right 
angles 8iereto and vice verad, so that they act as a counter- 
balance one to the other. Hung from each of the coupling 
shafts t, t, and k, Jb, respectively, is a pair of discs or wheels 
m, m, w, n, o, o, and |?,|?, (or one or any other number of discs 
or wheels might be attached to each coupling shaft,) the said 
discs or wheels being hung therefrom by means of long links 
q, q, and short links r, r. It will be seen that the discs or 
wheels 7»,n,o,|?, are smaller in diameter than the discs or 
wheels e,/, ^, A, so that as each coupling shaft passes over the 
centre its pair of discs or wheels will hang in the space be- 
tween the two larger discs or wheels, passing over and clear 
of the other couplmg shaft which is tiien at its lowest point 
below the axis. As each pair of smaller or inner discs or 
wheels descends by the revolution of the larger or outer discs 
or wheels in the direction of the arrow, they fall on to and 
roll down a curved or concave way «, «, which supports them, 
taking their weight off the links q and r and consequently 
off the larger or outer discs or wheels. The impetus or force 
which the smaller or inner discs or wheels gain in descending 
and in rolling down the curved way «, «, carries them partly 
up an incline <,<, where they are held by two catches u,tt. 
These catches are attached to two springs fixed to the move- 
able raised sides <*, <*, of the incline t, t, which spring-catches 
open out sideways to let the discs or wheels pass, and then 
spring in again to support and prevent them from returning, 
as seen at m, m. At this moment the pair of discs or wheels 
n, n, hung from the opposite coupling shaft, as they are de- 
scending come in contact with a lever or treadle v,v, con- 
nected by a link tr, tr, to one arm of a massive balance beam 
a?, X, hung on a fixed centre y, y, above. The other arm of 
this balance beam is connected by a similar link z, z, to the 
cross piece j,j\ which connects the moveable sides of the in- 
cline t,ty the inner or lower end of which is supported on 

386 PfiBPETuuM mobile; 

pivots at I, I, The movement of the balance beam x, x, caused 
by the action of the descending pair of discs or wheels n, n, 
on the lever or treadle v, v, tilts tJie moveable sides of the in- 
cline t*, t*y raising the discs or wheels m, m, still higher, sup- 
ported by the cross piece j,y, and catches u,u, and keeping 
their weight off the coupling shaft until the latter has passed 
oyer the highest central point, when the discs or wheels m, m, 
immediately swing across the space between the pair of outer 
discs or wheels g and e, and bring their full weight to bear on 
the descending side of the latter, the reaction of the balance 
beam x,x, at the same time restoring the cross piece j,/, and 
the moveable part t*, t*, of the iiicline t, <, to tJieir original 
position. Each pair of smaller or ioner discs performs this 
evolution in succession, and in its turn brings its weight to 
bear upon the descending side of the outer discs or wheels 
e, g, and /, h, whilst the weight is taken off the latter and sup- 
ported by the concave way «, 8, and incline t, t, and afterwards 
by the cross piece j,j\ and spring catches u, u, whilst they are 
being raised on the ascending side ; and hence, as above de- 
scribed, there being always a preponderating weight on one 
side of the axis, l£e machine will revolve by the action of 
gravitation which is confined to one side of tibe centre only, 
the power exercised by the machine depending principally 
upon the weight of the inner discs or wheels and the dia- 
meter of the outer discs or wheels, that is to say, the length 
of leverage at which the former act. q, q, are balance or fly 
wheels fixed or keyed on the outer ends of the shafts &, &, and 
d, d, which may be employed as driving wheels to transmit 
the power to any machinery to be driven either by means of 
endless belts or otherwise. 

This miserable affair was fully specified, and there the 
matter will rest, like the helpless piece of machinery which 
the patentee describes. 

1868.— William Joseph Sallttt [No. 2622], of Esholt, 
Leeds, York, worsted-spinner. " An Improved Gravitating 
Wheel Machine or Engine." 

Upon a suitable framework I mount perpendicularly a 
hollowed disc drum (fitted with an inner ring), in which I 
bore or cast a hole suitable for the reception of a shaft eccenr 


trically with the disc, and (by preference) in the line of the 
horizontal axis of the same. Upon the inner end of the shaft 
referred to, and within the disc drum, I key a boss grooved 
diagonally, say at eight different points m&te or less on its 
£BM)e, for the reception of sliding bars, to the outer ends of 
which are connected friction pulleys which work between 
the periphery of the disc drum and the inner ring alluded 
to. It will be apparent from the eccentric position of the 
axis to the disc drum that the force of gravity will carry the 
bars most extended with their pulleys down to the bottom 
of the disc drum, and so actuate the shaft as a prime mover 
through the grooved boss. As such bars approach the bottom 
they are gradually drawn or pressed in, and when on the 
horizontal axial line, are as much in as it is possible, whilst 
the opposite bars, having a preponderating weight by their 
leverage, keep the machine in motion. 

The arrangement above referred to may be reversed if 
desired, that is to say, the disc drum may form the centre 
portion (being eccentric instead of regular as in the previous 
case), the remaining parts of the machine according therewith. 

[Here the old fiEJlacy is repeated, extending levers on one 
side of a wheel, while they are to be drawn or pushed up- 
wards from below, by using eccentrics or other means. The 
repetition of such bungling efforts to upset natural laws 
afford convincing proofs of the ignorance, simplicity, and 
folly of their projectors.] 

. 1868.— Joseph Spboul PNo. 2732], of Hadley, Middlesex. 
" An Improved System of Water Power." 

My invention is intended a great extent to supersede steam 
in the working of machinery by the adoption of the old- 
feushioned water-wheel, the water in all situations to be pro- 
vided and applied as follows : — I first erect my mill or mills 
in any required position, whether in town or country, quite 
irrespective of running stieams. In regard to any one of 
my mills, no matter what useful purpose it might be for, I 
would make its machinery in every respect perfect, water- 
wheel included, and next provide water by siiJdng a tank of 
proper capacity under the level of the bottom of the wheel, 
which tank would be filled with water ; I should next erect 

338 PEBPETTJUM mobile; 

a reservoir, the bottom of which reservoir wonld at least be 
on as high a level as the discharge of water into the buckets 
of the water-wheel for its working. Then a pump would be 
set up in the water tank to draw up water from the tank into 
the reservoir, the said pump to be of a power to discharge 
su£&cient water for the working of the mill, and the pump to 
be kept continually at work by the water-wheel as part of its 
machinery. In plainer terms, the water-wheel would work 
the machinery of the mill and the pump simultaneously, the 
pump being thus constantly drawing up out of the tank into 
the reservoir a suf&cient flow of water to work the wheel and 
consequently the whole of the machinery of the mill; in 
regard to the water in the tank, it cannot be exhausted ot 
become less, for the water that works the wheel is made to 
run back as it is discharged from the wheel into the tank, 
thus by means of the pump the single tank full of water is 
•made to go round as it were in a circle working and rework- 
ing the wheel ad infinitum, requiring no additions whatsoever, 
except for the trifle that may be lost by evaporation and 
waste, which in towns could be easily kept up by common 
ball-cocks, and in the country by fresh supplies during rain. 
The water in the tank, however, after several weeks working, 
would necessarily become too thick and dirty. At stated in- 
tervals this would have to be remedied by emptying the tank 
and filling it afresh from clean water in the mains, or if in a 
country place where there are no water-works, additional 
reserved tanks would have to be made to meet these require- 
ments. Eeverting back to the reservoir, it need not be close to 
the wheel, but may be placed in any convenient position at the 
proper elevation ; by the pressure of its water through pipes it 
would descend into the buckets of the wheel, the supply being 
regulated ^y a valve made to move up and down at pleasure. 
The reservoir would also have to be constructed so as to close 
and retain its water. When the mill would stop without a 
reserve of water being constantly in the reservoir, there would 
be no means of setting the mill agoing when required. 

Such is a brief description of my invention for superseding 
steam by water-power, and that its success wholly rests on 
the proportional part of the power of the water-wheel that 
would be expended in drawing up the water for its own 
working. If, for instance, it would take the whole power of 


the water-wheel to raise water sufficient to work itself, the 
invention would be perfectly useless, as there would be no 
balance of power left to work the machinery of the mill, but 
on the contrary, if only a fractional power of the mill-wheel 
be required to lift its own water ihe remainder is a clear 
profit left for the working of the mill. In most instances 
the water would not have to be raised more than 30 feet, and 
it is plain that at such a height a very small proportion of 
the power would be required to lift up the water, as a dozen 
men with common hand-pumps would meet the requirement. 
As fur as I can correctly judge on an average of cases, not 
more than a thirtieth part of the power of water-wheels would 
be required to pump up their own water, thus leaving twenty- 
nine thirtieth parts as clear gains for the working of the 
mills; but it may be here observed that the proportion of 
water wasted in pumping would be in all cases proportionably 
greater in water-wheels of small power as compared to water- 
wheels of greater power. 

A modification to which my idea of working by water- 
power might be adopted is as follows: — I would erect a 
pumping engine on an elevation, say 200 feet high, the 
engine to be powerful enough to draw up from a tank, as 
before at the elevation, water sufficient to work a water-wheel 
of a required power. If at that height the engine would be 
powerful enough to supply its own water, it could be worked 
by the water it would draw up, if not it would have to be 
worked by steam. Now on the slope of the hill 200 feet 
high, allowing 20 feet of a fall for each mill, 10 mills or 
factories in succession could be erected down to the bottom 
of the hill, the water raised by the pump working them all 
as it would descend down from one mill to another back into 
the tank, thus keeping the latter in regard of water inex- 
haustible as before and the supply endless. 

[For upwards of three centuries one simpleton affcer another 
has devised self-working water-wheels and mills of the pre- 
cise description here patented and published, in defiance, not 
only of science, but of common sense itseK.] 

1868. — George Jarvis Worssam [No. 3463], of Wenlock 
Eoad, London. " A New or Improved Motive-power Engine." 

z 2 

340 .PEBPETUTJM mobile; 

I avail myseK of the property of bodies or objects of a 
certain specific gravity when inunersed in a fluid of a greater 
specific gravity to rise or ascend to the surface of such fluid ; 
this buoyancy represents a greater or a lesser force or power 
according to the greater or lesser difference between the 
specific gravity of the object and that of the fluid and the 
size or the displacement caused in the fluid by such object. 
In order to make the said objects, which I will call floats, as 
light as possible, and yet strong enough to resist the pressure 
of water, I construct them of thin sheet metal, and in pre- 
ference in the form of tubes or hollow cylinders with conical 
or flat ends ; a number or series of these cylinders are hinged 
or linked together in a similar manner as the buckets of a 
chain pump ; this chain of floats is passed over two sets of 
pulleys, discs, or arms fixed to two horizontal shaffcs, the one 
placed vertically above the other, the said pulleys being 
formed to suit the shape of the floats ; one half of this chain 
of floats passes through the centre of the tank holding the 
water or other fluid, and the other half passes outside the 
tank through the air. The floats when in motion enter 
through the bottom of the tank in the manner hereafter de- 
scribed and rise up by their buoyancy through the water; 
they then pass round the top pulley, descend outside the 
tank, and, passing over the bottom pulley, again enter into 
the tank, and so on. Now the principal psurt of my invention 
consists in passing the floats through the ];)ottom of the tank. 
On the bottom of the tank I fix a barrel or cylinder ; this 
cylinder may be square, or any suitable shape to fit one or 
more of the floats, and conical at one or both ends to admit 
of the free ingress and egress of the floats, and on every float 
I fix an ordinary cup leather, either made of leather, india- 
rubber, wood, metal, or any other suitable material. Sup- 
posing the floats to be in motion, the one float passing into 
the cylinder before the other has passed out would prevent 
very little if any escape of water, which escape could be 
pumped by a smtJl pump into the tank again. The motion 
communicated by the rising floats to the float pulleys, discs, 
or arms and shaft is further transmitted by means of belts 
or gearing in the manner usual with other motive engines. 

The details of arrangement and construction of my new 
motive-power engine may be altered or varied, but the main 


feature of my inyention consists in passing the floats throngh 
the bottom of the tank. I do not confine myself to fixing 
the cup leathers, made either of leather, india-rubber, wood, 
metal, or any other suitable material, on the floats themselyes, 
as I may in some cases fix the leathers, india-rubber, wood, 
metal, or any. other suitable material, in the barrel or cylinder 
at the bottom of tank, so as to form a water-tight joint round 
the floats passing through the cylinder or barrel. 

1869. — Geobge Whitb [No. 397], London. A communi- 
cation from Marcus Weissburg, of Vienna, Austria. " An 
Improved Motive-power Engine." 

The invention relates to an improved motive-power engine 
to which I give the name of Automotor, the principle of 
which consists in imparting a suitable rotating motion to 
one or more wheels fixed parallel to each other on an arbor 
revolving in suitable bearings, the rotating motion of the 
said wheels being kept up by the following means, and so as 
to allow of applying the revolving motion of the arbor as a 
prime mover for driving machinery :— Each of the wheels is 
provided with four weights of a horse-shoe shape, and they 
are connected in such manner so as to form two pairs. The 
weights are allowed to glide on four pairs of rails fixed 
radially and at right angles to each other on the wheel. To 
each weight is connected a sort of lazytongs-shaped lever 
arms which serve to cause the weights to glide vertically up 
and down along its corresponding pair of rails, and in such 
manner that when one of the weights of each pair moves 
vertically from the periphery of the wheel towards the centre 
of this latter the other weight of the pair moves vertically 
from the centre towards the periphery. Each weight is 
further provided with a forked or bell-crank lever arm, one 
arm [of] which is allowed to take hold at the required moment 
of one of four pins or bolts, filxed to the periphery of the 
wheel opposite the end of the rails, whereas the other arm 
of these levers serves as a counterweight for liberating at 
the required moment the lever and consequently the corre- 
sponding weight from the respective bolt. By means of this 
arrangement one half of the circumference of the wheel will 
constantly be acted upon by the falling effect of the weights, 
whereas ike remainder half will be kept unloaded, which dif- 

342 PUBPEiumi uoBiLE ; 

ference ia load wall cause the wheel to revolve, whilst several 
of these wheels being fitted on the same arbor and worMng 
in combination with each other, a continuoiis revolving motiou 
will consequently be imparted to the said arbor and be made 
use of aa a prime mover for driTing machinery. 

The annexed drawing shows a aide elevation of one of 
the wheels A fixed on the arbor A' and provided with the 

pairs of rails B, between which glide the weights formed 
into pairs by the connectisg rods E; each weight is con- 
nected to a system of levers D of a lazytong shape, each of 
which carries a friction roller d, which at the reqni^ moment 
acts against a dram G rotating in fixed bearings ; each weight 
is farther provided with a bell-crank lever F, one arm of 
which acts as a hook and at the required momeat tokee hold 
of one of the four bolts g fixed in the periphery of the wheel. 

1869. — Edwabd Sanss [No. 787], of Manchester, engineer, 
" A New Mode of and Apparatus for Producing Motive Power 
by Continuous Botary Motion," 

The object (tf my invention is to prodnce motive power by 
means of a system of wheels, axles, levers, connecting rods, 
and weights. 

In performing my invention I make use of two or more 
fixed axles placed in the same vertical line and plane. On 
each of these axles is a pair of three-armed levers. Con- 
nected with these levers, and at any convenient distance from 


them, are two or more pairs of toothed wheels, momited on 
separate axles, whose lower periphery gear into stationary 
racks attached to the framework of the machine. The upper 
periphery of the first pair of wheels is connected by links to 
the vertical arm of the three-armed lever on the upper axle. 
The upper periphery of the second pair of wheels is con- 
nected to the axle of the first pair of wheels by links. The 
fixed axle of the upper three-armed lever is in the same hori- 
zontal plane as the axle of the first pair of wheels, the axle 
of the second pair of wheels is in the same horizontal plane 
as the lower periphery of the first pair of wheels, the lower 
periphery of the second pair of wheels is in the same hori- 
zontal plane as the lower fixed axle. The axle of the second 
pair of wheels is connected by a link to the upper arm of the 
three-armed lever on the lower axle. To the horizontal arms 
of the three-armed levers are suspended rods, and each pair of 
these rods is connected together by a toggle joint, from the 
centre of which hangs a link, connected to a weighted levei^. 
The operation is as follows : — The weiglit is supposed to be 
hanging on the horizontal arm of the lever on the upper axle ; 
as the weight falls by its gravity it draws the arm of the lever 
down, which, by the links attached to the first pair of wheels, 
draws them towards the stationary axle, the teeth on 'the 
wheels engaging into the stationary rack. The motion of 
the first pair of wheels draws the second pair of wheels in 
the jsame direction, thus giving motion to the three-armed 
lever on the lower axle. When the weight is down it is 
moved by a lever on the suspended rod attached to the arm 
of the lever on the lower axle, and is carried up by it. The 
action of raising the weight by the lever on the lower axle 
moves the wheels into the position they first occupied, when 
they are ready to be again operated upon by the weight con- 
nected to the upper three-armed lever. Li this manner I 
produce a continuous reciprocating motion of the fixed axles, 
which can be converted into a rotary motion by any of 
the well-known means. On the other horizontal arm of the 
upper three-armed lever another weight is connected in the 
same manner as that described. 

1869.— Jambs Cudbibd [No. 1274], of Hingham, Norfolk. 
" Improvements in Motive-power Machinery." 


This invention consists in employing a circular rotating 
lever in combination with wheelwork in the construction of 
machinery for obtaining motive power. This circular rotat- 
ing lever operates upon the same principle as the well-known 
lever of the first order (a poker for example), with this dif- 
ference, the poker has a vibratory or up-and-down motion 
imparted to it, whereas the lever I employ instead of being 
formed of a straight bar or rod of iron, is formed as a wheel 
with a circular rim. 

I will proceed to describe the construction of the improved 
machinery and manner of operating therewith, as follows : — 
On a suitable bed plate or foundation two uprights or stan- 
dards are fixed side by side, leaving space between them for 
the adjustment of pulleys and toothed -wheels, as presently 
described. About midway of the height of the said standards 
and to each of them bearings are fitted, each carrying a short 
shaft inclining upwards and sideways. Upon the outer ends 
of these shafts I place loosely a large wheel with projecting 
pins fixed in its periphery at equal distances asunder, the said 
pins being intended to take into spaces between the links of 
an endless flat chain made of plates of solid iron. On the 
inner end of each of the aforesaid short shafts I fix a bevil 
wheel gearing into other bevilled wheels fixed on the axis of 
a pulley working in bearings in the aforesaid standards. The 
teeth of these last-mentioned bevilled wheels are formed on the 
inner periphery of a rim of metal fixed in a recess formed in 
each end of the aforesaid pulley. Fins or bars of metal are 
also fixed in or across the periphery of the said pulley for 
taking into the spaces between the links of the before-men- 
tioned endless chain above referred to. A plain pulley is 
also mounted on a revolving axis at the top of the aforesaid 
standards. This pulley is employed to guide and direct the 
endless chain on to the peripheries of the two outermost large 
wheels before mentioned. These wheels have each a ring of 
metal fixed to or formed centrally thereon at the outside of 
the said wheels, and the said rings have teeth formed on their 
inner periphery, the said teeth gearing into the teeth of other 
wheels fixed on the outer ends of each of the before-men- 
tioned short inclined shafts. 

The engraving represents a longitudinal and vertical sec- 
tion of the said machine. 



A, marks tHe base plate of the machine, to which are fLxed 
the standards B, supporting the following parts : — C, C, are 
short axles working in 
bearings in the stan- 
dards B; I), D, are 
wheels, and E, E, pul- 
leys fixed on the sales 
C, C ; G is a drum co- 
vered with felt or other 
soft; material ; H is the 
axis of the drum G, 
fixed thereunto; I, I, 
brackets fixed to the 
standards B, by their 
lower ends, the upper 
ends of the brackets I, I, 
supporting the ends of 
the axis H ; E, is a 
toothed wheel fixed on 
an axis a, working in 
bearings in the stan- 
dards B ; h,b, are small pulleys fixed on the axis a ; L, L, 
are endless link chains passing oyer the pulleys, E, E, and 
&, h, for transmitting rotatory motion thereto, studs being fixed 
in the pulleys E, E, and &, h, taking into the said links of the 
chain L, L, for ensuring rotatory movement of the said 
pulleys and drum and wheel G and K ; M is a drum em- 
ployed to guide the flat link chain N^ in its proper course, 
as presently described. 

The construction of the chain N" is as follows : — c, c, are 
flat links of metal connected together at d, so as to form an 
endless chain with teeth/, fixed to or formed thereon ; each 
of the links c, is formed with pivots e, which are intended to 
take into the grooved rollers g ; the axes of these rollers are 
at right angles or nearly so to the pivots e, and the said axes 
are supported by and are capable of rotating in holes made in 
the hooked pieces O, which are fixed into the rims of the 
wheels D, D, at equal distances asunder. 

The operations of a machine of the above construction are 
as follows : — Supposing the several parts to be in the position 
represented by the drawing and rotatory motion to be im- 

346 PEBPETTJUM mobile; 

parted to one or other of the wheels D, in the direction of the 
arrow's flight, the eflfect will be as follows : — By reason of 
the weight of that part of the chain N*", being upon portions 
only of the peripheries of the wheels D, as shown, such weight 
being a considerably greater distance from the axis of the 
wheels D, than the other links of chain are from the axis of 
the wheel K, will be similar in eflfect to two equal weights 
placed at opposite ends of a straight leyer whose fulcrum is 
placed at a greater distance from one end of the said leyer 
than the other, thereby enabling the weight on the longer 
arm to lift a heavier weight placed on the shorter arm, and 
upon this principle the Imks of the chain W, which are on 
the wheels D, by their superior weight will alw&ys be de- 
scending the toothed wheel K, lifting the chain up at the 
same rate that the other part is descending. 

And I would here observe that the standards B are inclined, 
to enable the pivots of the links of the chain N", when they 
arrive at or near the top of the standards to be conducted 
by the drum M, on the grooved rollers g, g, in which they 
rest until they fall, by their gravity out of them as they 


1869. — Fbanois Thomas Blake [No. 1606], of Boulogne, 
France, gentleman. "Improvements in Obtaining Motive 

This invention relates to a mode of obtaining motive power 
by the aid of gravitating weights, and consists, in the com- 
bination with a series of gravitating weights sliding along 
arms or radial guides, in a rotatory wheel or disc mounted 
on a shaft of a stationary guiding surface which acts upon 
the said weights in such a manner as to move outwards from 
the centre of the said revolving wheel or disc a sufficient 
number of the sliding weights to overcome the counteracting 
gravity and leverage of the remaining weights, which latter 
are simultaneously moved inwards towards the centre again 
by another portion of the same guiding surface, whereby a 
continuous rotary motion of the wheel or disc is obtained. 

[Will the scheming of such mechanical follies never come 
to an end ? or the patenting of them, as laughing-stocks for 
posterity, never cease ?] 


1869. — H. A. Bonneville [No. 1994], of London. A com- 
munication from Jean Clunet, of Lyons, France. " A New 
and Lnproved Motive Power." 

The invention relates to a new and improved motive power 
operating without noise and without expense. It consists in 
giving a rotary motion to a wheel, which is destined to 
transfer by the ordinary means the power obtained by the 
employment of any even smooth blocks of stone, petrified 
mortar, iron, cast or wrought, or other heavy materials, in 
the form of cubes preferred, and of which the number and 
volume are governed by the amount of power desired, and 
causing them to descend in the ordinary atmospheric air, but 
to ascend in a liquid whose density is equal to their density, 
by which means their weight is annulled. For this purpose 
these blocks when descending are hung to hooks fixed to an 
endless chain turning upon the wheel receiving the motive 
power, which is of a shape of a hexagon and placed on the 
top of a suitable framework, and upon another wheel of the 
shape of a square, which is placed at the bottom of said frame- 
work, and partially in a receptacle or tank of Water or any other 
liquid. When these blocks have arrived at the lower portion 
of their course they detach themselves from the hooks from 
which hitherto they hung attached to the chain, which latter 
continues its ascending and rotary motion, and the said blocks 
descend and re-ascend within the tank, confined to their place 
and guided by an endless band and conducting wires stretched 
from supports for that purpose fixed on the top and bottom of 
the framework. They now being thus guided and following 
one upon another find their way into another species of tank 
placed vertically, likewise filled with a liquid similar to that 
in the first-mentioned tank, and when arrived at the top of 
this second tank they tilt and slide along upon a horizontal 
shelf of rollers until they reach the hexagon-shaped wheel 
and the endless chain, when they recommence their descent. 
In order to prevent the liquid from running or descending 
fr*om the second tank into tibe first, the blocks enter from one 
tank to the other between rollers and grooved pulleys pressed 
against the blocks by springs so as to shut off all way to the 
water. The detaching of the blocks from the endless chain 
takes place of itself, so to speak, from the position they find 
themselves in, in consequence of the rotary movement and of 


the turning over the said chain upon the lower wheel in the 
shape of a square. The endless band receives a continuous 
descending and rising motion from the weight of the blocks 
which give every motion that the apparatus possesses, and 
which motion would be perpetual if upon the axle of the 
hexagon-shaped wheel transmitting the force obtained to the 
machinery by means of a driving pulley keyed to one of its 
ends, there were not keyed to the other end a break wheel 
with a hand crank, by means of which the movement may be 
stopped or modified. Instead of two receptacles it would 
perhaps often be better to have but one, the rollers and 
grooved pulleys already alluded to being placed at the en- 
trance of the siQgle tank instead of the second, the blocks 
acting in the same manner. 

The engraving is a side section in elevation of the whole 

A represents the blocks ; B is the hexagon-shaped wheel ; 
C is the endless chain which remains attached to the said 
wheel by means of its poiuted hooks, which successively enter 
similar recesses made in the circuniference of the wheel, the 
other end of said hooks being square, serving to keep the 
blocks in their place while descending in conjunction with the 
conducting wires D, placed two in front and two behind each 
block, and one at each side ; E is the receptacle ; F is the 
square wheel from which the chaia at the bottom of its 
course is detached to re-ascend round the wheel B ; G is the 
rollers, of which there are four, made of india-rubber or other 
elastic material placed at the entrance of the receptacle E ; 
and H is the india-rubber or other suitable angle pieces also 
placed at the entrance, between which rollers G and angle 
pieces H pass with slight friction the said blocks after being 
disengaged from the chain 0. These blocks A, angle pieces 
H, and rollers G, being in close contact form a permanent 
stoppage, so that the water cannot issue, and said blocks when 
in the receptacle are placed in the middle of the same, where 
they are kept in equilibrium by the water and are pushed aud 
moved forward by the blocks which descend after them. I 
is the endless band, resting on supports J fixed to the inside 
of the receptacle supporting the blocks and moving with them. 
The blocks when in the vertical part of the receptacle are 
conducted by four wires, one on each of their four sides. E 


is a roller upon which tilt the hlocka guided hj the endleee 
baud when on the top of the receptacle to leave the same ; 
L, Motion rollore on which fall and roll the blocks after 

having tilted in order to reach the hexagtm wheel B ; M and 
X are the two pulleys on each side of the hexagon-shaped 
wheel, the one M for applying the break and N for truiB- 
mitting the power obtained to other machinery. The equality 
in the density of the Liquid and the blocks is obtained 1^ 
hollowing the blocks so that they may easily rise to the top 
of the receptacle when therein. The desired resnlt is ob- 
tained by the use of any other liquid, the volume of tlie 
blocks being proportionate to their density, also the weight 
of the blocks may be more or less than that of the liquid, but 
equality in weight is preferable. 


The application for the purpose of obtaining a continnons 
motiye power of the principle of counterbalancing the weight 
of heavy materials rising in a receptacle, after descending in 
the atmospheric air by operating their passage through said 
receptacle in a liquid whose density is more or less than an 
equivalent to the weight of said blocks. 

1869. — John Aitkbn [No. 2069], of Lasswade, Edinburgh. 
" Improvements in Obtaining Motive Power." The follow- 
ing, from the Provisional Specification, is rather obscurely 
stated : — 

This invention has for its object improvements in obtain- 
ing motive power. I take water out of a reservoir or other 
source by placing in it a syphon. On the water issuing from 
the syphon it fiAlls on a water-wheel, which it actuates and 
transfers the power as wished. There is a pump between 
the water and the top of the syphon. This may be applied 
to a mill-wheel. The pump is to fill the syphon before start- 
ing, and it will work awhile without any additional supply, 
but only for a short time, and therefore it is attached to the 
wheel by a strap. The pump may be the ordinary lift pump, 
or any other. 

The operation is as follows: — The water rises in the 
syphon as the air is withdrawn ; next the water of necessity 
falls and yields momentum due to its weight and velocity ; 
the water falls on the wheel, whether it be a mill-wheel or the 
wheel attached to the syphon, and it is transferred with any 
additional power it may have acquired in passing over the 
wheel and may be used as wished. 

Fbenoh Patents. 

1828.— M. Castagne [No. 2068],* mechanician, Paris. "A 
Perpetual Motion called * Balance Mover Ventilator.' " 

The annexed engraving will sufficiently indicate, even 

without verbal description, the cumbrous character of the 

mechanical arrangements of this patented scheme, in which 

* ' Description des machines et proced^ consign^s dans les Brevets 
d*Invention, de Perfectionnement et d'Xmportation.' Tome xxiii. 4to. 
PariB. 1852. See page 185. 

OB, BXiitaa FoK 8XLV-ifOTin powsb. 


no mesne h»Te been avoided to koomnnlAte fiiction through 
mnltiplied wheels, levers, straps, chains, weights, &c. The 
spedficatiim describes that ; — 

a is a vertical beam secured to a horizontal shaft, or arm, 
b, which carries the two clamps e, serving to move the crown 

wheel d, fixed to the shaft e, which also carries a toothed 
wheel /, connected to a tnmdlc g, which works with a wheel 
\, placed on an axle i, carrying at its extremity a toothed 
jonion k, on which passes the endless chain I, working the 
wheels m, n, the latter being suspended so as to move in a 
groove, and has attached to it a counter-weight to stretch the 
chain. The horizontal b^un p, which serves as an axle to 
the wheel o, carries also a cog-wheel q, on which passes a 
chain r, and thence over a lesser ct^-wheal a, its axle carrying 
a toothed wheel t, working a pinion u, its axle being the same 
Bs that of the drum v. 

Equally insane is the remainder of the verbose particnlar# 
given of the several ports of this complicated and ridiculously 
absurd attempt to offer a practical illustration of perpetual 

To the list' of French patents already given in the First 
Series of ' Per, Mob.,' page 497, we have now to add the fol- 
lowing from 'Description des Machines et Precedes pour lee- 
quels des Brevets d'Invention out et^ pris, &o.' 4to, Paris. 

352 PEBPETUUM mobile; 

1. M.Asaebt; for a perpetual movement. — ^April 28, 1849. 
(Vol. 15, p. 43.) 

2. M. Bebtbakd; for a mAcbiiie moved by means of 
weights.— December 12, 1849. (Vol. 16, p. 221.) 

3. M. Bailly ; for the same. — February 1, 1850. (Vol. 16, 
p. 292.) 

4. M. Andbe ; for a perpetual movement. — ^March 15, 1853. 
(Vol. 26, p. 291.) 

5. M. W. LoMBABD ; for a machine moved by the aid of 
weights.— April 5, 1853. (Vol. 26, p. 347.) 

6. M. Nasmyth ; for a smiilar machine. — April 29, 1853. 
(Vol. 27, p. 361.) 

7. MM. Delbieux, Huten et Dumont ; for a perpetual 
movement. — December 21, 1853. (Vol. 31, p. 158.) 

8. M. Tbottieb; for a wheel actuated by means of weights. 
—July 12, 1854. (Vol. 36, p. 310.) 

9. M. CouLON ; for a perpetual movement. — September 22, 

1854. (Vol. 38, p. 40l!) 

10. MM. Isabey et Eousselle ; for a perpetual movement 
—November 20, 1854. (Vol. 40, p. 10.) 

11. M. Mony; for a perpetual movement. — January 3, 

1855. (Vol. 41, p. 139.) 

12. M. Joos ; for the same.— February 12, 1855. (Vol. 42, 
p. 316.) 

13. M. Babbe ; for the same.— February 21, 1855. (Vol. 
42, p. 3160 

14. M. Obissieb ; for a perpetual movement, the machine 
being a water-wheel, raising its water supply by means of 
two pumps.— February 28, 1855. (Vol. 42, p. 326.) 

15. M. Lecocq ; for a perpetual movement. — April 20, 1855. 
(Vol. 44, p. 327.) 

16. MM. Patene et Lallem ande ; for the same. — April 
?8, 1855. (Vol. 45, p. 143.) 

17. M. WiLTZ ; for the same.— April 28, 1855. (Vol. 45, 
p. 188.) 

18. M. Mabant ; for the same. — August 1, 1855. (Vol. 
48, p. 245.) 

19. M. Lombabd; for the same. — September 11, 1855. 
(Vol. 50, p. 347.) 

20. Mr. ZuMVALD ; a pump to realize the perpetual move- 
/zzeizt.— December 14, 1855. (Vol. 52, p. 326,) 


^ 21. M. DiTTiLLOT ; a perpetual movement effected by cen- 
trifugal addon.— April 11, 1866. (Vol. 54, p. 242.) 

1857. — Edwabd Laik^ on the 3rd of August, deposited 
the requisite documents in respect to his perpetual motion. 
But the ambitious patentee gave publicity to his scheme in a 
lithographed folio circular, consisting of three closely-written 
pages of description, and one large sectional drawing. It is 
entitled ' Le Mouyement Perp^tuel, par le plan Vertical, le 
Chariot, et TH^lice.'* Brest, 1857. It is, without excep- 
tion, the most extravagant suggestion we have ever seen. 
A vertical shaft, capable of rotation, is set up in a circular 
well, built for the purpose, having an annular channel 
near the top, and a similar one half-way down, or about the 
middle of the well. Bound the vertical shaft three pipes 
are coiled until two of them reach above the top, which 
portions are then bent in opposite directions to a swan-neck 
form, so as to deliver any water that will flow from them 
into the upper circular channel. The third pipe, being only 
half the length, is treated in the same manner, but with only 
one bend to direct it into the middle circular channel. These 
three pipes open at bottom into the water lodged in the well. 
The object is thereby to give rapid rotation to the centre 
shaft, so that the two longest pipes may deliver their con- 
tents at the top by centrifugal action; while the shorter pipe 
delivers a less quantity into the middle channel, whence it 
flows 'from a spout to work an overshot water-wheel, affixed 
to the axle of which there are toothed wheels gearing at last 
into a spur wheel on the main vertical shaft, to give it con- 
tinuous rotation. Surely nothing more madly absurd was 
ever before conceived ; such a design is perfectly ridiculous. 

Having thus brought to a conclusion our notices of these 
eighty-six English and twenty-three French patents, it will 
not be without its advantage to mark the class of persons 
who have placed themselves in their present dubious posi- 
tion. Each patentee has toiled in a l^rren fleld of enter- 
prise, ploughing the sea-shore, or spinning ropes of sand ; 

* There is a copy in the library of the Patent OflSce, London. 

2 A 

854 FEBPETiruM vorelb; 

setting at defiance the derision of the learned, and the ridictde 
of the illiterate, they seem to have gloried in the very odium 
cast on them from all quarters. A more self-willed, self- 
satisfied, or self-deluded class of the community, making at 
the same time pretension to superior knowledge, it would be 
impossible to imagine. They hope against hope^scoming all 
opposition with ridiculous vehemence, although centuries 
have not advanced them one step in the way of progress; 
and while their assumed novelties only prove their discom- 
fiture by a retrograde process. 

We find that Qie fore^coing patentees consist of a colonial 
biahop, a professor of philo^phj, and another of languages, 
two barons, a knight of the most noble and ancient order 
of the Temple, four military men, a doctor of medicine, a 
barrister, several gentlemen, two civil engineers, several 
mechanical engineers, a brass manufacturer, miller, mill- 
wright, smith, Sadler, bobbin manufacturer, surveyor, and a 
geologist, besides others whose professions are not named. 

Among these one might expect to find a sufficient amount 
of education to have saved them from such an exhibition of 
misapplied energy as we have here. We can make every 
allowance for errors arising from the limited means of in- 
formation possessed by the general public, even until late in 
the eighteenth century ; and can view with curious eye the 
models and drawings of early artisans. But no apology can 
be offered for the abortive, ridiculous projects which are a dis- 
credit to the present age, enlightened as it is in all mechanical 
constructions ; and the time has arrived when the infancy of 
mechanical scheming in impossibilities should be laid aside, 
or left as amusements for youthful amateurs. There is some- 
thing lamentable, degrading, and almost insane in pnrsning 
the visionary schemes of past ages with dogged determina- 
tion, in paths of learning which have been investigated by 
superior minds, and with which such adventurous persons 
are totally unacquainted. The history of Perpetual Motion 
is a history of the fool-hardiness of either half-learned, or 
otherwise totally ignorant persons. In the infancy of sciences, 
whether medicine, chemistry, agriculture, mechanics, or others, 
there were, of course, some errors which received a certain 
amount of favour, and even encouragement ; but the crudities 
of every science are fast disappearing ; Alchemy is no more 

OB, SBA!sOH fob 8SLF-M0TIY1 POWEB. 855 

ooantenanced than is the search for a Perpetnal Motion ; and 
whatever hitherto may have sufficed to give an impulse to the 
latter, has long since subsided, and, therefore, the benighted 
mechanic must work in unenvied seclusion ; for there is no 
longer any expectation of applying such mechanism to the 
determining of the longitude, or of obtaining for its discoTerer 
any (Government reward. 

Were we to admit for argument's sake that some delicately 
arranged instrument might possibly be contrived to show 
a tremulous action, its accomplishment would not be of the 
least practical value, or reward the toil and anxiety of its 
inventor. But although inventors have sought a power exceed- 
ing the steam engine in some cases, while others have satis- 
fied themselves with more lowly designs based on capillary 
attraction, neither the one nor the other has attained the 
faintest shadow of success. From the infEuit machines pro- 
jected in the thirteenth century to the last hydraulic, pneu- 
matic, weighted, and lever-worked pretensions patented as 
motions, no motion whatever has resulted from the one or 
the other to the present day. Not a solitary discovery is on 
record, not one absolutely ingenious scheme projected, or one 
simple self-motive model accomplished. Under such circum- 
stances what shall we say of the modem mechanic who shall 
hereafter presume to add his dreary dreams to the lifeless 
lumber of the last seven centuries? No language can be 
too severe in denouncing the continuance of research in this 
insane undertaking ; nor any criticism too sarcastic in exposing 
the foolish results pompously published by a class of blind, 
deaf, and doggedly stupid projectors ; who bringing obloquy 
on themselves, are a discredit both to their country, and 
to the present enlightened age. Nothing can excuse the 
fostering of such crazed conceits as the present history 
records, curious in themselves as regards olden times, but 
ridiculous in a modem garb; they are, therefore, presented 
here as a warning to simple-minded experimenters, and 
novices in mechanical science, in the hope thereby effectually 
to break the neck of this monster mechanical delusion. 

2 A 2 




AQmoOLk*B De re MetcUlica 9 

Aitken, J., 1869: Specification.. .. 350 

Allaman, Professor ; his Animadversions on Oi^ieoB* Invention, 

and Perpetnal Motion 109,112,113 

Ambling, James ; his Magnet and String of Balls 53 

Andres French Patent 352 

Angelis, Ide, 1863 : Specification 283 

Arago, M. ; against Perpetual Motion 142 

Arthur, A., 1860: Specification 244 

Asaerfs French Patent 352 

Atherley, E. G., 1863 : Specification 284 

Baillt's French Patent 352 

Barre's French Patent 352 

Bastin, J. J. ; and L. A. Banm, 1867 : Specification 329 

Baum, L. A. ; and J. J. Bastin, 1867 : Specification 329 

Beccheri, J. J. ; his Water Clock 33, 51, 52, 97 

Benton, B., 1861 : Specification .. .. 259 

Bemoolli, John ; his Demonstration in fiftvonr of Perpetual Motion, 

59-62 ; noticed by Dr. Kenrick, 115 ; notice of 163-165 

Bertrand's French Patent 352 

Bessler. (See Orf^^ns.) 

Bethune, Sir J. F., 1860 : Specification .. .. 252 

Bettinus, P. Marias ; describes a Perpetnal Water-wheel . . . . 16 

notice of 17,54 

his Hydraulic Spiral Machine 20, 21 

examines Scheiner's Gnomon 26 

Billingsley, Sir Henry; his -^Mc/trf, 1570 8 

Blake,F.T., 1869: Specification 346 

Boekler, G. A. ; notice of 24 

358 INDEX. 


Boekler, G. A. ; his description of Three Arrangements of Self- 
acting Archimedian Screws 36-42 

Bonneville, H. A., 1863 : Specification 281 

1869: Specification 347 

Bonnier, E. 0. M., 1864 : Specification 294 

Bonnycastle, J. ; against Perpetual Motion 144 

Boothroyd,W., 1863: Specification 277 

Borelli, G. A. ; demonstrates the Impossibility of Perpetucd Motion 42-48 
Borlacb, J. G. ; writes against Perpetual Motion, 98 ; noticed . . 163 

Boutet, 0. T., 1860 : Specification 233 

1861: Specification 235 

Brewster, Sir David ; account of Spence*s Magnetic Apparatus 170, 171 
Brown, J. G., 1861 : Specification 255 

Camus, M. B. ; on Perpetual Motion 126-139 

notice of 157 

Gapra, A. ; his Wheel with Weighted Levers 48 

his Scheme by Capillary Attraction 55 

Cardan, H. ; notice of 17,38,53 

Gamot, L. N. M. ; against Perpetual Motion 142 

his Arguments .. .. 143,144 

Carte, John; approves of Perpetual Motion by Clockwork .. .. 58 

Cafiatus, Paul ; contrived a Wheel with Weighted Levers . . . . 55 

Castagne, M., 1828 : Specification , 350 

eastern, C; noticed 163 

Caucr^ Bizzo, Louis ; his Hydraulic Apparatus 201 

Cavalerie, M. F., 1861 : Specification 253 

M. F. D., 1863: Specification 254 

Certainty ; the desire of Perpetual Motion Seekers 204 

Chomhets^B EncychpoBdia 163 

Chapeaurouge, P. A. de, 1834 : Specification 210 

Charles, Landgrave of Hesse Cassel ; noticed 163 

Chease, S. A.; and J. Smith : Specifications .. 210-217 

Chowen, G., 1860 : Specification 251 

Clark, A. M., 1867: Specification 329 

Clarke, Dr. ; remarks against Perpetual Motion 141 

Coffey, J. A., 1860 : Specification 231 

Cogantsky, P.; projected a Perpetual Motion Scheme 52 

Colombo, L., 1864 : Specification 292 

Colwell,C., 1867: Specification 324 

Cooke, W.F., 1836: Specification 210 

INDEX. 859 


^tQ3,'Eioger; hia ffydrostatical Lectures,, .. ,. .. .. note 118 

Goulon's French Patent 352 

Gourtenay, B^ 1862: Specification 271 

J., 1863: Specification 277 

Gox, James ; his Barometrical Clock 194,195 

Grousay ; he declares Orfiyreus to be mad 114 

Oudbird, J., 1869 : Specification 343 

Cunningham, George ; his application of the Principle of the 
Barometer 75 

Day, Jer. ; on Perpetual Motion 177-189 

De anima perpetui mobilis, a MS. in the British Museum . . . . 73 
De Morgan, Professor A. ; satirizes the Search for a Perpetual 

Motion 147-149 

Dee, Dr. John ; his Euclid's Preface, 1570 8 

on Trochilike, or Wheel Art 8,9 

Delrieux's French Patent 352 

Descartes ridicules Perpetual Motion 50 

Dinglingem, J. F. ; oflfers to construct a Perpetual Motion . . . . 98 

Doughty, J., 1861 : Specification 259 

Dowell, W., 1861 : Specification 264 

Drebbel, Cornelius ; notice of 10 

his Perpetual Motion, described by Thomas 

Tymme 10-16 

Figure of new Scheme 13 

notice of 24 

Drieburg, Fred, von ; his Work, 171 ; his New Machine . . 172, 173 

Duboin ; his Letter to the Royal Society 77 

Durand, C. A. M., 1862: Specification 270 

Dura, E. H., 1862 : Specification 272 

Dutilloy's French Patent 352 

Dymock, Cressy ; his Self-acting Mills 35 

Elliot, A. J. H., 1867: Specification 328 

JSTttc/trf; first English Translation, 1570 8 

Evans, W., 1861 : Specification 265 

1862: Specification 266 

Evelyn, John; notice of 42 

Fantis, Cardinal A. DB ; notice of 53 

Fechner's Dictionaries; noticed 189 

Ferguson, James; his scheme for Perpetual Motion .. .. 80-82 

360 . INDEX. 


FinugiuSy H. ; his Magnetic Apparatus 35 

notice of ^ 53 

Fischer, Baron ; his description and recommendation of Orfiyrens' 

Wheel 110-112 

noticeofhim 11* 

Fludd, Robert; notice of 56 

Forde, John ; in * TVs Pity ' alludes to a Perpetnal Motion scheme 16 
French Patents, List of 350-353 

Gainsborough, Thomas ; his Self-acting Clock 36 

Rev. Mr. ; Letter respecting 167 

his Brother's Perpetual Motion Clock . . 168 

Gardner, J. C. ; his Pamphlet 190-192 

Gartner, Andreas ; his Wager, and offer to construct a Perpetual 
Motion, 98 ; his Invention noticed, 99, 100 ; his Invention and 

Challenge, 101 ; noticed 163 

Gedge,W.E., 1860: Specification 248 

1862: Specification 267 

Gehler's Remarks on Perpetual Motion, 159-163 ; noticed . . . . 189 

Geiser, J. ; noticed, 163 ; his Pendulum Clock 197 

Gravesande ; his Remarks on Orffyreus* Invention .. .. 113,114 

declared Orfiyreus mad 114 

Grollier de Serviere ; noticed 163 

Grunbegeros, P. Chris. ; notice of 17 

Peter ; his Self-acting Spiral Wheel and Weight 32, 55 

Hantzsohe; noticed 163 

Harstorfferus, D. ; notice of 24 

Hart ; an American oddity 202 

BLartlib, Samuel ; his notice of Dymock's Perpetual Motion . . 35 

Hartmann, of Leipsic ,* notice of 52 

Haute-Fouille, M. de ; his Perpetual Hygrometrical Clock 49-51 

Hawkes, A., 1864 : Specification 293 

BLawksbee, ; notice of 118,121 

Hayes, G., 1861 : Specification 256 

Heckethom,C.W., 1862: Specification 207,268 

Helmholtz; noticed 165 

Henderson, Dr. E. ; remarks on Ferguson's Perpetual Motion 

scheme, 82 ; on Descent of Bodies xxx 

Herrich, C. A.; his Treatise, 189; his mechanical labours .. .. 190 
Hire, M. de la ; notice of 50,165 

iia)Ex. 361 


Hoffinann, Dr. Ft. ; noticed 168 

Honecort, Wilars de ; his Scheme, 13th century .. ..... .. 1-4 

Huddart,G.A^ 1860: Specification 236 

Hnygens, M. ; notice of 50 

Inoamells, J., 1866 : Specification 816 

Isabey's French Patent 352 

Iseis, D. A. ; notice of 20 

Italian Society (1786), The ; Examination of a new argument in 

favonr of Perpetual Motion 83-89 

Italians, The ; consider Perpetual Motion possible 52 

Jaoobus, Dr. ; Magnet and String of Balls 38 

Jefferies, W., 1865 : Specification 210 

Joos' French Patent 852 

Jov6, J. Vila Y., 1867 : Specification 822 

Jurin, Dr. James ; on Capillary Attraction and Perpetual Motion 


Kant; noticed 190 

Kastner; noticed 190 

Kater, Gapt ; noticed 171 

Katterfelto, Dr. ; his Advertisement 203 

Kenrick, Dr. W. ; notice of him, 104, 107 ; review of his two pam- 
phlets on Orfiyreus' invention and Perpetual Motion, 107-116 ; 
his invention of A JRotator or Perpetual Motion, 108 ; declares 
Orffjrreus mad, 114 ; quotes Bernoulli and Leibnitz, 115 ; an- 
nounces his invention of A JRotator or Perpetual Motion, 116 ; 

terms of his o£fer to publish it 116 

Kircher, P. Ath. ; notice of 17,53,56 

Demonstrations for and against Perpetual 

Motion 17 

Hydraulic Machine 23 

his Magnetic Arrangement 35 

his Self-motive Sphere 35 

Kiause and Botmann's Letter to the Queen 202 

Kieiger, GodMed ; his Letter to the Boyal Society 76 

Kmnitz; noticed 189 

IjAoomme, A., 1860 : Specification 242 

Lain^, E., 1837 : Specification 353 

862 INDEX. 


JjBjnatY.T. dQ; ImMagisterium NaturcB et Artis 52 

dedares that all Schemes have hitherto fisdled .. 53 

is fovourable to Perpetual Motion 64,55 

various Problems by 56 

Lardner, Dr. ; notice of, 144, 146 ; his observations on the fallacy 

of a Perpetual Motion 146,147 

Laserson,L.D., 1860: Specification 226 

Lassus, M. ; his Commentary, 1858 1,4 

Lecocq's French Patent 352 

Leibnitz, Baron de ; against Perpetual Motion 157 

Leonhardt, H., 1865 : Specification 298 

Leygoine, L., 1860 : Specification 248 

Lombard's French Patent 852 

LorinijB. ; on J^or^t/Sca^tbn, noticed .. k 156 

LUdeke, J. E. F., 1860 : Specification 237, 238 

1865 : Specification 239 

and D. Wilckens, 1864 : Specification .. .. 239 

Maohin, Professor ; notice of 125 

Mahn, J. A. ; favours Perpetual Motion and Orfiyreus' invention 98 

Marant's French Patent 852 

Martin, P. Ant ; his Perpetual Clepsydra .. 21 

notice of .. 56 

W. ; his Pamphlet 199,200 

Maupertius ; writes against Perpetual Motion » .. 141 

Meikleham, Robert (see Robert Stuart). 

Mennons, M. A. F., 1860 : Specification 226 

Mitz, Jer. ; his Self-acting Buckets • ..2d-32 

Levers and Weights 32 

— ^— — Notice of 55 

Moinau de Montauban ; his Perpetual Motion Models 200 

Mon/s French Patent 352 

Moores, F., 1862 : Specification 266 

Morgan, Professor A. de (see De Morgan, Professor A.). 

Morin, A. ; demonstrates the impossibility of a Perpetual Motion 150 

Morland, Joseph ; against Perpetual Motion 141 

Mosman, E. P., 1863 : Specification 278 

Motion, Law of 164 

Motive Power, a new, 203 ; an American scheme 203 

Kasmyth's French Patent 852 

INDEX. 863 


Kemnaim, G. IT. ; his Machine for Perpetual Motion 78-80 

noticed 163 

Kewlon's Laws of Unresisted Motion 164,165 

Ohissier's French Patent 352 

OnBfyreus, J. E. E.-B. ; notices of him and his Self-motive Wheel 94-116 

size and operations of his Wheel . . . . 97, 98 

publishes a work on Perpetual Motion, 

98 ; description and trial of his invention, 98 ; review of his 
Triumpkans Ferpetuum Mobile^ 1719, 101-104 ; his Autograph, 
101 ; engraving of his Wheel, 105 ; Professor Allaman's animad- 
versions, 109, 112, 113 ; Baron Fischer, description and recom- 
mendation of the Wheel, 110-112 ,* Gravesande's remarks on the 
invention, 113, 114 ; Dr. Kenrick declares him mad, 114 ; his 
demand of 200,000 florins, 115 ; charged with fraud, 114, 115 ; 

noticed 193 

Orth,0. A., 1862; Specification 273 

Papinus; noticed , ., 163 

Parkes, W., 1801 : Specification 208 

Pat^ne's French Patent 352 

Patents of the 17th and 18th centuries, 117; all such patented 

Inventions condemned 117 

of tbe 19th century : — 

Arthur, 244 ; Angelis, 283 ; Atherley, 284 ; Aitken, 350 ; Boutet, 
233; Bethune, 252; Brown, 255; Boothroyd, 277; Bonne- 
ville, 281 ; Bonneville, 347 ; Bonnier, 294 ; Blake, 346 ; Benton, 
259; Cooke, 210; Chease, 210, 215-217, 223; CJoffey, 231; 
Chowen, 251; Oavalerie, 253, 254; Courtenay, 271, 277; 
Colombo, 292; Colwell, 324; Clark, 329; Cudbird, 343; 
De Chapeaurouge, 210, 235; Doughty, 259; Dowell, 264; 
Durand, 270; Duru, 272; Evans, 265, 266; EUiot, 328; 
Gedge, 248, 267; Huddart, 236; Hayes, 256; Heckethom, 
267,268; Hawkes, 293; Ingamells, 316 ; Jeffries, 210; Jove', 
322; Ludeke, 237-239; Lacomme, 242; Leygoine, 248; ;• 
Leonhardt, 298 ; Mennons, 226 ; Moores, 266 ; Mosman, 278 ; 
Marcos, 282; Orth, 273; Parkes, 208; Perr^, 302, 303; 
Prince, 319; Rebour, 245; Roberts, 269, 270; Reade, 313; 
Smith, 210, 215-217, 223; Sarrazin, 267; Sleigh, 280, 286, 
287, 289; StoU, 304; Sleigh, 305, 309; Stiles, 329; Starkey, 
332 ; Sallitt, 336 ; Sproul, 337 ; Sands, 342 ; Taylor, 264 ; 

364 INDEX. 


Von Rathen, 296, 297; Watts, 295; Worssam, 339; White, 
341 ; Zanni, 814. 

Patents, F/ench; List of 350-353 

for Perpetnal Motion ; Remarks on 353-355 

Pepys, Samuel; notices Thomas Gainsborough's Self-acting Clock 36 

Pereginus, Peter ; notice of 53 

Perpetual Motion censured, 117, 150-153 ; also in articles of the 

Lexicon Technicwn, 154; Wolff's Mathematical Lexicon, 155; 

the JSncyclopcedia Britannica, 157; Blnight's CychpoBdia^ 158; 

Nichol's Cyclopcedia, 158 ; Gehler's German Compilation, 159 ; 

declared impossible, 165; Stevinus' Demonstration, 166; Day's 

Essay against the pursuit of Perpetual Motion 177-189 

Perpetual Motion, a German work on 173 

inquiry about a reward for 169 

does it admit of a solution ? 206 

schemes anticipated 164 

definition of 165 

Plaidallis' imposture 193 

Seekers ; their desire of certainty 204 

their course condemned .. .. 254,255 

Perr^,E., 1865: Specification 302 

1866: Specification 303 

Peters; noticed 163 

Pierer; noticed .. ., 189 

Plaidallis' imposture 193 

Playfair; noticed 171 

Plessis, Barbot du ; favourable notice of Perpetual Motion . . . . 83 

Polonico's Self-acting Pump 33 

Polytechniclnstitution ; Perpetual Motion Models 200 

Poppe; noticed 190 

Prince, H., 1866 : Specification 319 

QuiCHEBAT, M. ; his Conmientary, 1849 1 

RATHEN, A. B., Babon TON, 1865 : Specification 296 

1866 : Specification 297 

Reade, C. L. W., 1865 : Specification 313 

Rebour,C. J., 1860: Specification 245 

Reproductions of old Inventions by modem Perpetual Motion 

Seekers 8 

ReuBzner, And. ; notice of 52 

INDEX. 365 


Reyta, p. Ani M. ; notice of 17 

Biociolus, B. J. B. ; notice of 24 

Bio, P. M. dol. 1863 : Specification 282 

Boberts, B. M., 1862 : Specification 269 

1865: Specification 270 

Bohanlt, J. ; on the Syphon, 140 ; disproves Perpetual Motion by 

Capillary Attraction, 140, 141 ; Dr. Clark on the same .. .. 141 

Bye, W. B. ; his England as seen by Foreigners note 10 

Sallitt, W. J., 1868 : Specification 336 

Sands, K, 1869: Specification 342 

Sarrazin, H., 1862 : Specification 267 

Scheiner, or Scheineuros ; approves of Perpetual Motion . . . . 23 

his Gnomon 23, 25 

Scheineurus, P. Chris. ; notice of 17,53 

Schemes for Perpetual Motion, General and Patented : — 

1. Atmospheric Changes, &c. 

Haute-Feuille's Clock, 49; Cunningham's Barometer, 75; 
Cox's Clock, 194. 

2. Chemical. 

C. Debrell, 10; Kircher's Sphere, 35. 

3. Hydraulic, &c. 

Bettinus' Pump, 16 ; Stansel's Pump, 16 ; Bettinus' Spiral, 
20; Martin's Qepsydra, 21; Kircher's Pump, 23; Schotfs 
Hydraulic Machine, 23; Mitz's Buckets, 28; Beccheri's 
Clock, 33, 51; Polonico's Pump, 33; Bockler's account of 
three arrangements of Archimedian Screws, 36-42; Sin- 
clair's Syphon, 42 ; Capra's Scheme, 55; Vogel's Pimip, 176; 
Stephen's Capillary Tubes, 197; Toth's Syphon, 198 ; Caucre', 
201; Pumps, 204; Chowen, 251; Bethune, 252; Moores, 
266; Sarrazin, 267; Dura, 272; Bonneville, 281, 347; 
Atherley, 284; Hawkes, 293; Leonhardt, 298; Ingamells, 
316 ; Sproul, 337 ; Aitken, 350 ; Laine, 353 ; Obissier, 352 ; 
Zumrald, 352. 

4. Maguetic. 

Jacobus' String of Balls, 33 ; Tarvislni's Botatory Magnet, 33 : 
Theisneri's Magnetic Arrangement, 33 ; Kircher's scheme, 35 
, Finugius' Magnetic Bars, 35 ; Gehler's, 161 ; Spence's, 170 
Stephen's, 196; Beade, 313. 

5. Pneumatic, Hydro-pneumatic, &c. 
Parkes, 208; Smith and Chease, 210, 215-217, 223; Men- 



nons, 226; Boutet, 233, 235; Huddart, 236; Ludeke, 237- 
239 ; Lacomme, 242 ; Arthur, 244 ; Leygoine, 248 ; Hecke- 
thorn, 268 ; Courtenay, 271, 277 ; Sleigh, 280, 286, 287, 289 ; 
Bonnier, 294; Watts, 295; Von Rathen, 296, 297; Perr^ 
302,303; Zanni, 314; Prince, 319; Jove, 322; Stiles, 329; 
Worssam, 339. 
6. Wheels and Machines. 
Wilars de Honecort, 3 ; L. da Vinci, 6 ; Forde's notice, 16 ; 
Gnmberger's, 32; Scroter, 32; Mitz, 32; Dymock's Mills, 
85 ; Dr. Stokes*, 42 ; Capra's, 48 ; Casatus, 55 ; Neumann, 78 ; 
Kenrick's Eotator, 116 ; Street's Mill. 117 ; Revolvmg Wheel, 
169 ; Inclined Planes, 202 ; Jefiferies, 210 ; De Ghapeanronge, 
210; Cooke, 210; Cbflfey, 231 ; Eebour, 245; Cavalerie, 253. 
254; Brown, 255; Hayes, 256; Doughty, 259; Benton, 259; 
Taylor, 264; Dowell, 264; Evans, 265; Heckethom, 267; 
Roberts, 269, 270; Orth, 273; Boothroyd, 276; Mosman, 
278 ; Marcos del Rio, 282 ; Angelis, 283 ; Oolombe, 292 ; Stoll, 
304 ; Sleigh, 305, 309 ; Colwell. 324 ; Elliot, 328 ; Bastin 
andBaum, 329; Starkey,332; Sallitt,336; Weissburg, 341 ; 
Sands, 342; Gudbird, 343; Blake, 346; Gastagne, 350; Ber- 
trand, 352; Lombard, 352 ; Nasmyth, 352; Trottier, 352. 
Schluter ; is offered a large reward to discover Perpetual Motion 97 

Scholz; noticed 190 

Schott, Gaspar ; describes various Schemes 16 

his Technica Curiosa 28 

Schroter, or Schroder, Will. ; Self-acting Wheels and Weights . . 32, 55 

Sinclair, George ; describes a Perpetual Sjrphon 42 

Sleigh, B. W. A., 1864 : Specification 286, 287 

1866 : Specification 289 

A., 1865 : Specification 305 

18G9: Specification 309 

Dr. W. W. ; Extravagant Eulogy of his Patented Hydro- 
pneumatic Engine 174,175 

1863: Specification 280 

Smith, J. ; and S. A. Ghcase, 1858: Specification 210 

1861 : Specification 215 

1863 : Specification 216. 217 

Solski, R. P. S. ; his Hydraulic Machine .83 

notice of 58 

Sproul, J., 1868: Specification 837 

Stair, D. de ; his Disquisition against Perpetual Motion . . . . 56-58 
i^teiwei, P. V. ; a Self-acting Pump .. 16 

INDEX. 867 


Starkey,W., 1867: Specification 832 

Steinbruck, G. ; satirizes Orffyrens* Inveiition 98 

Stephen, W. ; his Perpetual Motion Schemes 195-197 

SidYmxia, &ry hia Element Static, noficed 156 

notice of 165,166 

Stewart, Robert ; his Treatise on Perpetual Motion 63-73 

Stiles, W. D. ; his Hydro-pnemnatio Apparatus 206 

Stokes, Dr., of Cologne ; his Perpetual Motion 42 

StoU, J. J., 1865 : Spedfication 304 

Street, James ; his Spring Mill 117 

Streng; noticed 163 

Stuart, Bobert ; Notice of, 144 ; against Perpetual Motion .. .. 145 
Sturm, L. 0. ; his ifa^Aesis noticed 156 

Tabyisini, Ant. de F. ; Rotatory Magnetic Arrangement .. .. 33 

Taylor, E., 1861 : Specification 264 

Tehn; noticed 190 

Theisneri, Joannis ; his Magnetic Arrangement 33 

notice of 53 

Toth, Paul; his Hydraulic Apparatus 197-199 

Trochilike, or Wheel Art; Dr. Dee's notice of 8, 9 

Trottier's Fren<^ Patent 352 

Tymme, Thomas ; describes Drebbel's Perpetual Motion .. ..10-16 

his Dialogw Philosophical notelQ 


Vincent, Marc A. ; contrived a Hydro-pneumatic Scheme ., .. 55 

Vinci, Leonardo da ; his Schemes, 15th century 4-8 

his Cellular Wheel and Rollmg Weights .. 6 

remarks on 8 

Vogel, A. F. ; his Pamphlet, 175 ; his Self-acting Pump .. 176, 177 
Volant Moteur Ferpetuel Models 200 

Wagner, C. ; writes against Perpetual Motion 98 

Watts, J. I., 1865 : Specification 295 

Weissburg, M., 1869 : Specification 341 

Whewell, Dr. ; his Novum Organon JRenovatuTn, 149 ; on the impos- 
sibility of a Perpetual Motion 149,150 

White, G., 1869 ; Specification 341 

Wilars de Honecort ; his Scheme, 13th century 1-4 

Willis, Professor ; on Wilars de Honecort 1-4 

condemns the pursuit of Perpetual Motion 2, 4 

368 INDEX. 


Wiltz'B French Patent 352 

Wolff, V. ; noticed 168,189 

Worcester, Marqais of; hU Invention of a large Weighted Wheel 90-94 

his Invention condemned by Dr. Desagu- 

liers, 98 ; but supported by a Mechanical Dlustration . . 98 

Worssom, G. J., 1868 : Specification 339 

Wurmaeer von Vendenhyem, H. J. ; notice of C. Drebbel 10 

Zanki,0., 1866: Specification 314 

Zoll and Koppe ; noticed 163 

Zonca, Vittoria; describes a Monster Syphon for Perpetual 

Motion 9 

Zumrald's French Patent 352 













Nttr SKES." — Marqais of WorcesUr. 



[TliH Author reserveit the, right of Transl<ifinn.\ 


3 2044 020 339 396 


Harvard College Widener Library _ 
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